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NEWS | Dec. 23, 2014

Defense Department Leaders Release Holiday Messages

By Claudette Roulo DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Defense Department leaders and their spouses have released a series of holiday videos to thank troops and their families for their sacrifices.

“This month, as you gather with family and friends, Lilibet and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

“For many of our nation’s military families, the holidays are a joyous time, a time to reunite. But for families who are apart, this time of year is especially hard, and it’s a reminder that our troops aren’t the only ones who serve and sacrifice. Their families do too,” Lilibet Hagel said.

Chairman, Service Leaders Add Their Messages

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was joined by his wife, Deanie, and their eight grandchildren in singing “Jingle Bells” for their video message.

“We couldn’t be any prouder of you, and for those of you that won’t be with your families this holiday season, we want you to know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers every single day,” Deanie Dempsey said.

The secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the sergeant major of the Army, the Air Force chief of staff and the Army vice chief of staff also released their own holiday messages.

To see the leaders’ holiday messages, go to:

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhBDPNlKEaZt27puzze1SyKC-rpwQpY_q

“Please know that you have the highest respect and gratitude of all Americans -- especially those of you who are away from your families this holiday season,” Hagel said.

“This is a special time of year for everybody and we know how special it is for you, even though you won’t be -- many of you -- with your families,” the defense secretary said in a second holiday message directed especially at troops deployed around the world.

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