WASHINGTON -- The holiday season is a time of gratitude, and before 2022 comes to a close, I want to personally express my gratitude to our total force — our service members, military families, civilians, and contractors — across the country and around the world — for all you've done throughout the year in service and defense of our nation.
As families throughout the United States gather and settle into their holiday traditions — whether it's a meal and joyous conversations around the dinner table, or like my family, decorating the Christmas tree — we remember the sacrifices you make to secure the freedoms we celebrate here at home.
For our service members reuniting with family and friends this season, I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the traditions that make the holidays special for you.
For those who will be spending the season on duty standing watch at sea, or on posts defending our nation, please know you are in my thoughts. I know how difficult it is to be separated from loved ones at this time of year. Our nation so values the sacrifices you make so that we can be safer, stronger, and more secure.
And to all our fellow Americans — wherever you're celebrating, however you're celebrating — I hope your holiday season is filled with warmth and cheer. Have a safe, healthy, and happy new year.