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Holiday Message from the Secretary of Defense

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 1998 – As we enter this joyous season and approach the end of 1998, it is fitting that we pause to reflect on our accomplishments.

For another year, we have maintained security in an unstable world. In operations at home and abroad, you have defended America's vital interests, transformed chaos into calm, and provided shelter, food and care for thousands in need. Most important, by your very presence, you brought hope to those who had known only despair. These are not only great military achievements, they are great humanitarian accomplishments for which the entire nation can be proud.

Now, as we gather to enjoy the holidays, let us rejoice in the freedoms which your sacrifice, dedication and determination have made possible. But let us not forget those who are not here: the soldier who stands watch on the DMZ, the sailor who scans the horizon in the Persian Gulf, the aviator who monitors the skies over Bosnia, the Marine who stands guard at an embassy in a faraway land, and the Coast Guardsman who patrols the waters off our own shores. Our thoughts, gratitude and prayers are with you.

May the spirit and peace of this holiday season be with you all and may God grant you health and happiness in the coming year.

Happy Holidays!

William S. Cohen

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