As we approach the end of† 2013 and prepare for the New Year, I extend my heartfelt greetings for a joyful Holiday Season and thank each of you for your contributions to securing our great Nation. I am mindful of the many sacrifices our Soldiers and

Families continue to make, and Iím grateful for your inspiring commitment and resolve. From the Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan to our garrison communities, your teamwork and selfless service are shining examples of the very best our Nation has to offer.

Wherever we serve this Holiday Season, we collectively pause to give thanks and reconnect with those we hold dear and reflect upon the blessings we share as Americans. Let us carry forward the spirit of the season throughout the coming year.

Finally, let us all remember those deployed far from home, and those we owe our vigilant support ó our Wounded Warriors and fallen Heroes. We will keep our Heroes and their Families in our thoughts and prayers. May your holidays and your 2014 be joyful and safe, and may God continue to bless you, our Army and the great Nation we serve.

Freedomís Guardian!