With fewer than one percent of Americans serving in the military, it might be easy to feel disconnected from the troops on duty representing our country across the world. You may not have an immediate or extended family member in uniform, or a neighbor who is deployed.
But they are there, working 24/7—sometimes in the world’s most treacherous places—keeping us and our allies across the planet safe from harm, even if we don’t know them personally.
This Thanksgiving and every day, we should thank those men and women, and their families, for the sacrifices they make in service to our country and its cherished ideals of freedom, democracy, opportunity and peace.
We thank those who are patrolling dangerous territory, performing critical surveillance, or staffing ships instead of sitting down today for a family dinner and football games.
We thank those who are spending their first holidays away from their loved ones, and those who have missed lots of occasions over the years.
We thank the children of our troops, for being incredibly brave while mom or dad is serving far away.
We thank the spouses and partners of our troops, for holding down the fort.
We thank the parents of our troops, who raised their children with the honor and integrity it takes to volunteer to serve.
To those servicemen and women who have suffered injuries obvious and hidden, we say thank you, and affirm our commitment to your healing.
To our veterans, we say thank you for your service. You are owed a lifetime of support and care.
To the civilians working in various roles, public and private, to help our troops and veterans, we say thank you.
And to the loved ones and friends of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, we know that “thank you” isn’t enough. The holidays can be particularly painful, and you are always in our hearts.
Our nation of 325 million is safe and free because of the work of a small fraction of its people. As we celebrate today, we should remember all those who serve and have served.
We wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.