Air Force leaders issue holiday message

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy send the following holiday message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:

As we celebrate the holidays, please take the opportunity to reflect on our many blessings as Americans, and to remember the people who most enrich our lives. We also should contemplate our broader aspirations that, given the many demands of very busy lives, we often neglect to consider throughout the year.

Also, especially while many remain engaged in combat operations across the globe, we are thankful for the men and women who have answered our nation's call, and selflessly serve to defend our country and preserve our precious liberty. Those who are spending this special time of the year away from friends, family and loved ones are particularly worthy of the deep and abiding respect of fellow Airmen and of a grateful nation. We look forward to their safe return home.

We also honor the quiet sacrifice of family members who sustain and bring great personal meaning to the service of their loved ones. Those of us with the good fortune to be able to celebrate the holidays at home amongst family and friends remember our deployed Airmen and their family members who miss them. We ask that you reach out to these families as well as our single Airmen, and in the spirit of giving and support that makes our Air Force so special, we ask that you welcome them into your holiday celebrations.

In all of the joyous ways that we celebrate this holiday season, we wish you and yours the very best during this special time, and throughout the new year.