Give thanks for all the bountiful gifts you have

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Most of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving Thursday with our friends and families, enjoying each other's company as we take a break from the hustle and bustle of life.
There are, however, many members of the 45th Space Wing and our mission partners - especially the 920th Rescue Wing - who will be spending that day not with friends and family, but with brothers and sisters in arms at points around the world, often in harm's way.

I can't say it better than the commander of Air Force Space Command, Gen. C. Robert Kehler:

"We should also be mindful of Airmen deployed in-place and around the world who will spend Thanksgiving away from their families. We ask you to keep these military members and their families in your thoughts and prayers as they secure the rights of liberty and freedom for all of us," said the general.

I ask that these families of deployed Airmen are never forgotten and look to all of us to ensure that we include them in our holiday plans. I have also been here long enough to know the folks of the 45th Space Wing - and our mission partners - will do the right thing when it comes to taking care of their own people. That's one thing my wife, Patricia, and I are thankful for this year.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember with gratitude that despite our differences in background, race, age, politics, military or civilian, each of us is a member of our larger American family - our larger Air Force Family - and that working together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we continue to work, learn and lean on one another.

Please be careful this weekend. This is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. If you find yourself on the road, don't be in too big of a hurry to get there. Plan ahead. We need you back here next week.

Our people are our most precious resource ...always have been ... always will be.
Let me finish - once again - by offering my heartfelt thanks to all of you for making my wife and I feel so welcome and comfortable as we settle into this wonderful Space Coast community.

I said during my change of command ceremony four weeks ago that "more than anything, I am one of you."

I am most thankful you have taken me up on that comment.

Take care and be good Wingmen for one another. Thanks again, and Go Sharks!