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Secretary, Chairman Give Thanks for Troops, Families

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2007 – The two top Defense Department leaders expressed gratitude today for the efforts of servicemembers and their families and called on the nation to remember those serving this Thanksgiving.

“Let us give thanks for them and for the difficult job they do. Let us also remember their families, whom we join in watching and praying for their safe return,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ Thanksgiving Day message reads.

In the message, Gates said that the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines stationed around the world risk their lives to keep safe the blessings we enjoy.

“Let us give thanks for them and for the difficult job they do. Let us also remember their families, whom we join in watching and praying for their safe return,” Gates said. “To the men and women of the United States armed forces, wherever you are – with your loved ones at home or deployed overseas – know that your vigilance, your strength, and your sacrifice are deeply appreciated by your countrymen. Know that Americans will be thinking about you as they gather around the Thanksgiving table.”

Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed similar gratitude for families’ service in a message marking National Military Families Appreciation Week, which kicks off on Thanksgiving Day.

“A great measure of our nation's strength is the support our soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen (and) Coast Guardsmen receive from our families. None of us could do it without them. They serve every bit as we serve,” Mullen’s statement reads.

He also called on the nation this Thanksgiving to remember the sacrifices paid for the freedoms American’s enjoy.

“All across the United States this week, families will join together and give thanks for the blessings in their lives and the freedom to do so. Let us never forget how that freedom was won or how, by the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families, those freedoms have been preserved,” Mullen’s statement reads. “On behalf of my family and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, please accept my gratitude to you and your family this Thanksgiving.”

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Biographies:
Robert M. Gates
Adm. Michael G. Mullen, USN

Related Sites:
Defense Secretary’s Thanksgiving Day Message
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman's Message for 2007 Military Families Appreciation Week



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