Here at Fort Bragg, for the first time in many years, we are blessed to have most of our servicemembers home for the holidays. For some of them, this will be the first time in years that they will be able to be with their Families and friends during this special time of the year.

It is always an honor to watch the excitement build in friends and Families of our returning units and in our servicemembers themselves. You can see the months of anxiety and fear quickly replaced by tears of joy, smiles, long awaited hugs and pride.

It amazes me to see the love and support of our military Families who sacrifice so much in order for us to serve our nation. Our military Families are truly the strength of our servicemembers. We could not endure months of separation due to deployments without the support of our Family and friends back home. Their support is extremely exceptional as well as inspirational.

The selfless service and dedication of our servicemembers and their Families motivates and inspires me to help provide the best support possible here at Fort Bragg. I fully believe that strong Families, including the Families of our single servicemembers, are a readiness issue. If a Soldier or Airman is worried about their Family back home, the readiness and effectiveness of that unit is degraded.

Last Thursday as we introduced 1st Sgt. Evan Lewandowski, his wife Melissa and their three children, Joshua, Samantha and Wyatt, as Fort Bragg’s Family of the Year, I, along with the Fort Bragg installation commander and command sergeant major, Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn and Command Sgt. Maj. Isaiah T. Vimoto, and Col. Jeffrey M. Sanborn, the Fort Bragg Garrison commander, reconfirmed our support to our Fort Bragg Families by signing our Army Family Covenant.

As the Fort Bragg Garrison command sergeant major, I and the rest of the installation command teams, pledge to provide the best programs and services commensurate with the quality of life that our servicemembers and their Families deserve. With expected cuts in our resources, this will be a challenge, but I can assure you we are ready, trained and able to meet this challenge with the same commitment, determination and support that our servicemembers and their Families have provided for the last 11 years.

In closing, I wish you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday season and new year. Take comfort in knowing that your sacrifices and service to protect our nation, its citizens and our allies will have a lasting impact for generations to come.