Since the early days of our Republic, Americans have set aside a day of thanksgiving. Then, families, neighbors, and friends gather together and acknowledge the many blessings bestowed upon them and upon the country over the past year. It is a wonderful tradition that has become a cornerstone of our national identity.
Here in the U.S., we have much to be thankful for, including our health, our families and teammates, and the many opportunities that have been afforded to us.
Unfortunately, parts of the world are marred by violence and turmoil, and many people living in these areas are struggling to overcome adversities and hardship. This is certainly the case right now in Iraq and in Syria. Our hope is that someday soon, the people of those countries will achieve peace and be assured liberty and justice and a
stable and secure homeland.
These are challenging times, and we are facing many difficult issues around the globe and specifically in the Central Command area of responsibility. However, on this day of thanksgiving, we should focus on the good things in our lives. Certainly we are grateful for the contributions and the strong support that we receive from our partners and colleagues within this command, across the Interagency, and among the broad Coalition that has formed to counter ISIL. We are grateful for the service and sacrifices made by
our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and Civilians. We are especially grateful for those selfless men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on
behalf of our Nation. Finally, we are grateful for our family members and loved ones who are the unsung heroes and provide us with unwavering support and encouragement.
I want all of you to know that it is an absolute pleasure to be able to serve with you and to have the tremendous honor and privilege of leading this world-class organization during what is proving to be an historic period. I want to thank every member of the team for your hard work and continued commitment. I hope you and your families have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. I am proud of you!