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Pacific Air Forces commander sends best wishes for happy holidays, joyous New Year

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Fellow Airmen,

As 2013 draws to a close and we take time to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends, I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to all of you, the men and women of Pacific Air Forces. This past year, we faced a myriad of obstacles together ... from national security challenges to natural disasters, all while operating under constrained budgets. Time and again, our incredible PACAF Resilient Airmen rose to the challenge with bold and innovative leadership.

We know that we will continue to face challenges in the coming year, but I'm confident that we'll approach them with even more strength, courage, commitment and dedication than last year. However, before we leap into the New Year, I encourage you to pause this holiday season to count your blessings and identify those people and facets in your life for which you are thankful.

Personally, I'm thankful for my faith, my wonderful wife, Gillian, our family, our friends, and our freedoms. I'm thankful that I've been able to serve in the Air Force for 35 years, particularly with Airmen like you -- PACAF's 45,000 Resilient Airmen. Each day, I'm inspired by the awesome work you do, and grateful for the trust that our nation places in your capable hands.

Please enjoy a safe, fun-filled holiday season. Whether you are on duty, traveling, staying at home, or stationed away from loved ones while supporting our mission, look out for each other, and continue to support each other. Let's take time as a PACAF family to ensure we are fit in all areas -- mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

Every day, I count my blessings: they number 45,000 (plus their families). From the bottom of my heart, thank you again for all that you do. Gillian and I wish you and your families ... Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year!