It is a day of magic, of heritage, of faith. The day has a different meaning for everyone.
Merry Christmas to all our military families. Whether you view Dec. 25 as a religious day signifying the birth of Jesus Christ, a day of presents and family, a day off, or a day with significance based upon your own religious preferences, have a great day!
For our families who are Jewish, enjoy this sixth day of Chanukah, Rosh Hodesh.
As a national holiday, today is a day for everyone to be with family and relax. Please remember that there are some of our families who don’t get that option. As military families, we answer the nation’s call; sometimes that call is during the holiday season. Please remind both our deployed service members and their families deployed on the homefront that you are thinking of them, that their sacrifice now is important and never forgotten.
In thinking of them, here are holiday messages from our Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense, Chairman and members of the Joint Staff.
From American Military Families Autism Support — the only national organic grassroots support effort for military families, by military families — best wishes and happy holidays to you and your loved ones.
President Barak Obama and Mrs. Obama holiday message
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta holiday message
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and Mrs. Dempsey holiday message
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Mrs. Schwartz holiday message
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Mrs. Odierno holiday message
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos and Mrs. Amos holiday message
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathon Greenert and Mrs. Greenert holiday message
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DALLAS – The nation’s wounded warriors and veterans face extraordinary challenges in the years ahead, the military’s top officer told members of the World Congress on Disabilities gathered at the Dallas Convention Center here Nov. 19.
With 40,000 servicemembers and veterans having suffered physical wounds during service in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, and “hundreds of thousands” suffering from post-traumatic stress, a national effort is required to repay their service, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
“The signature wounds of these wars are different than any wounds we’ve ever had,” Mullen said, noting that medical advances and vastly improved battlefield treatment has given the combat wounded a 95 percent chance of survival.
The congress, established in 1999, brings together medical practitioners, educators, people with disabilities and caregivers to share knowledge and experiences to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
“What I see here is an opportunity for collaboration and transparency and sharing of great ideas … you’ve absolutely got it right,” the chairman said.
Mullen said he is aware of the challenges involved with conditions from autism to brain injuries to post-traumatic stress, all of which the congress seeks to address.
“I’ve heard the term ‘disability’ as I’ve walked through here,” the chairman said. “But my focus … is on ability, not disability. My focus is on potential. My focus is on strengths, not weaknesses. And how do we make that connection? How do we lead our way to the future?”