SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL. –
As we gather together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to reflect upon how much we have to be thankful for. For one, I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you - Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Civilians and Commercial Partners. Serving selflessly, you all demonstrate tremendous commitment and dedication every single day. When the nation calls, you never hesitate. You say "goodbye" to your loved ones instead of "good night" and you go forward to deliver hope, fuel the fight and save lives. You answer the call so others may prevail.
Whether that call requires you to airdrop critical supplies to a remote post in Afghanistan, refuel aircraft to fight a ruthless dictator in Libya or provide aeromedical evacuation support in the midst of the Antarctic winter, you find a way to answer it with a "Yes." Mobility aircraft often represent the first sign of hope for both warfighters on the ground and victims of natural disasters. But we must always remember, the aircraft itself has no heart - it's comprised of cold steel and titanium. The heart of the aircraft is found in the Airmen who make the mission go - aircrews, maintainers, porters, security forces, intel analysts, communications technicians... all of you!
Each and every one of you represents an integral part of this command and an indispensible part of our Air Force. As such, it's vital that safety remain a priority throughout the holiday season. The Air Force has designated Nov. 18 through Jan. 3 as its Holiday Safety Campaign to help raise awareness of personal risk management.
You may be driving across the country to spend time with loved ones - or just going a few blocks down the street - but in either case, it's critical that you maintain situational awareness of road conditions and keep distractions to a minimum. Hazardous conditions, fatigue, speeding, alcohol and cell phone use can all make navigating the roadways very challenging. Plan accordingly, get plenty of rest, and have a Plan B ready, just in case.
Of course, for many of our deployed members, driving home for the holidays is not possible right now. Diana and I would ask that you hold all of our deployed Airmen in your hearts and remember them and their families this holiday season. Their wartime mission is a noble and necessary sacrifice to ensure our great nation can live in peace and security. We look forward to their safe journey home.
We wish all of you, at home and abroad, a very safe and happy Thanksgiving.