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Panetta Issues Thanksgiving Message to Troops, Families

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2011 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today offered his gratitude to service members and their families in a Thanksgiving message.

Here is the secretary’s message:

For the past 10 Thanksgivings, our nation has been at war. For 10 Thanksgivings, our troops have been deployed to the battle zones and around the world, defending our freedom and putting their lives on the line.

We are thankful for your service and for your steadfast commitment to keeping all of us safe. Our thoughts and prayers will also be with your families, whose love, support and sacrifice are essential to your success.

I know that this can be a difficult time for service members and their loved ones who must spend it apart from each other. To those deployed away from home, and to their families: You are making a real difference every day and keeping our country strong and safe.

As all Americans pause to take stock of our blessings of freedom and liberty, I want you to know that we can only do so because of your willingness to bear the burden and hardship of providing for our security.

Throughout our history, America has faced serious challenges – economic, social, political and military crises. This is one of those periods. And yet, the spirit of the American people remains our greatest strength to overcome whatever crisis we confront. That great spirit is reflected in you - our men and women in uniform. Hopefully, your example of courage and bravery can inspire others to do the right thing.

On this Thanksgiving, as our nation remains at war, Sylvia and I join all of you in one simple prayer: Peace on Earth, and goodwill to all. To all our service members and their families: Have a safe, healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!


Contact Author

Leon E. Panetta


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

11/25/2011 10:05:25 PM
These are very nice sentiments. I believe that after 10 years of war it is time to win the war.
- Robert K.Owens, Cedar Rapids Iowa

11/23/2011 3:59:48 PM
hello mr panetta,i am writing from a place that apriciate very much the us goverment and the american people,a place like albania.please i have a request to do with the hope that you will read this message.i am a 20 years old boy and i would like to be part in the united states troops i dont care in what place you gonna send me but i am offering my self to the army only becouse is like a passion for me a very strong passion please i heve tryed sow many wayes to reach some body from the military but nobody answer me.please try to give to me a answer please i am waiting your email
- kabrin, tirane,albania

11/23/2011 12:49:54 PM
God bless them every one, and God bless the USA! Thank God for our brave men and women everywhere who serve our country. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
- Jo, MD

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