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Air Force leaders issue holiday message

(U.S. Air Force graphic)

(U.S. Air Force graphic)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy send the following holiday message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force:

The holiday season is a perfect time to celebrate the many blessings that we enjoy in our country and spend time with the people who are most important in our lives. As we gather around those we love, we encourage you to strengthen the relationships that enrich your life and sincerely thank those who steadfastly support your service to our Nation's Air Force.

To those who will spend this special time of year far from family and loved ones, our thoughts are with you. The sacrifices you make earn the deep and abiding respect of your fellow Airmen and Americans. For those Airmen and members of our sister Services engaged in combat operations around the globe, we look forward to your safe return.

To those of us with the opportunity to celebrate the holidays at home, remember our deployed Airmen and extend heartfelt thanks to the family members and loved ones who miss them. We ask that you reach out to the families and friends of our deployed Airmen, and in the spirit of giving and support that defines our Air Force family, welcome them into your holiday celebrations.

In the many joyous ways we celebrate this holiday season, we wish you and yours the very best during this special time and throughout the New Year.