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Holiday Greetings 2002 From the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2002 – As the holiday season approaches, all Americans have much for which to be thankfulour liberty and economic prosperity are the envy of the world. These opportunities do not come freely - the steadfast dedication of our service men and women is essential in defending our way of life. This year, as in many past years, the performance of our duties again places the U.S. armed forces in harm's way.

American service members have endured many holiday seasons in conflicts overseasin two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and last year in Afghanistan. This year is no different. The holiday time brings no respite for our active duty, Reservists and National Guardsmen engaged in the War on Terrorism. In addition, other personnel have been keeping peace in the Balkans and in the Pacific, serving selflessly in so many places away from home. This also means that there is little relief for our familiesthey continue to set aside their interests in support of our service.

America could not ask for more than what our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, coastguardsmen and civilians are providing this year: a steadfast sense of duty and sacrifice, the clear protection of our fellow countrymen and the honor and respect that define our armed forces. I am inspired by your character and courage. I am extremely proud to serve with you.

Mary Jo joins me in sending to you and your families our very warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. May God bless you and may God bless America.


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