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A season of thanks: as we enter the holiday months, I wish you and your family all the blessings of the season. As we give thanks for all our blessings, please remember the men and women who are far from home, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's always difficult to be serving our nation in lonely outposts throughout the world, but it is especially hard during the holidays. Letters, messages and phone calls hardly are a substitute for the joy of being with family in the warmth and love of a home.

To me, the holiday season begins with Veterans Day. Join with our nation as we salute all of our brothers and sisters in arms for their courage and dedication in protecting the freedoms we all share. So, I urge you all to participate in Veterans Day events and demonstrate that the DAV is a force in our country that will stand up for veterans.

As winter begins to take a grip on the year, enjoy the December holidays and our freedom to worship as we choose. But again, give thanks that we are stronger and safer because of the men and women who guard the wall in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan and under the clear desert skies of Iraq.

As we welcome 2009, please keep in mind that a new administration and Congress will soon begin their important work. Change is in our future, and we must all work together to ensure the change that comes will benefit our veterans.

The new year will bring greater opportunity to fulfill our mission of building better lives for disabled veterans and their families.

No matter who is in the White House or in control on Capitol Hill, we all need to work hard to make veterans a national priority. We have the opportunity of a new beginning. Even though there have been few new laws to benefit veterans over the past two years, we must be part of the change that will shape our nation.

It is up to us to do our part to make sure the change is for the better and will honor our service in the cause of freedom.

Until then, it is my most ardent wish that you and your families have the most wonderful holidays possible. I wish you all the blessings of the season. And I know you can be counted as we stand up for veterans in the new year.

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Title Annotation:from the NATIONAL COMMANDER
Author:Dempsey, Raymond E.
Publication:DAV Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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