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Gifted individuals make for remarkable command

  • Published
  • By Gen. Don Hoffman
  • Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
As the holidays approach, we have time to slow down, reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and recall the gifts in our lives and the sacrifices of those that have gone before.

One example is that of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. On Dec. 25, 1776, George Washington and his troops battled a winter storm for 14 hours as they moved horses and artillery across the Delaware River. Then, as the storm continued, they marched 10 miles to battle the enemy at Trenton, N.J., captured the town, and secured a morale-changing victory for colonial forces. That day, these patriots shared the gift of faith and persistence to create a better future. And they did.

Today the Air Force has more than 33,000 Airmen -- military and civilian -- who are deployed to preserve the gifts of independence, freedom, and democracy passed down by our forefathers. Within AFMC, almost 1,300 members are deployed this holiday season, serving our country abroad.

I thank every one of you for your service, professionalism, and diligence exhibited each day. I also thank your families and loved ones who support the work you do and contribute so much to our mission. I ask each of you for your continued leadership and vigilance as the year draws to a close.

Please take the time to review travel plans, talk about roadworthy vehicle operation, emphasize seatbelt utilization, review the risks of drinking and driving, and encourage personal risk management for all activities. Those of you who remain in the local area for the holidays also need to keep safety in mind. Driving locally, especially during adverse weather conditions, presents similar risks no matter how close to home you might be.

Through your intrusive leadership at every level, personal commitment and teamwork, we can safely finish 2008 and posture ourselves for success during the upcoming year.

Jacki and I wish each of you the very best holiday season, along with health and happiness in the New Year. We are proud to serve alongside you and are grateful for your sacrifices on behalf of our great nation and the cause of liberty.