Have a happy Holiday Season

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Do you feel it? Can you sense the excitement in the air and the slight relief in your work load as we approach the holiday season? Or are you like so many today who allow the holidays to become another block to check on your never-ending to-do list? If there's ever a time to enjoy what we have, what we do as Airmen and spend extra time with our families it's over the next couple of weeks.

As Liz and I prepare to celebrate our fifth Christmas here at Vandenberg we, like all of you, have much to be thankful for. There are tangible things - our wonderful kids, a safe and secure place to live, and plenty of holiday goodies to tempt us. And there are the grander gifts we sometimes take for granted: a great job in the United States Air Force, our health (even when we have an extra helping of those holiday goodies) and extra time to spend with family and friends. The holiday season offers us all an opportunity to recharge our batteries, relax, and get ready for another exciting year. You are what make Vandenberg the outstanding place it is to live and work. Without you, and the support of your family and friends, we would not be able to achieve the great things you accomplish every day. I thank each of you for your contributions to the success of the Air Force and Team V.

I know many of our Airmen will be away from home during the holidays. Our dorms are filled with young men and women serving miles from where they call home. Others, close to 155 of our Airmen, are defending our Nation this holiday season in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous foreign locations. The good news is that we are all Wingmen - we are all part of an Air Force Family that takes extra care of each other. As Wingmen, we must keep those that are working through the holidays, either in garrison or deployed, in our thoughts and prayers, and to keep their families in mind as well.

For those of you traveling over the holidays I encourage you to review the Vandenberg Safety webpage on the Intranet for traveling safety tips.  We know that just a little extra time making a plan and sticking to it can help avoid some of the pitfalls we read about in the newspaper. Nothing is more important to me personally than the safety and well being of our Airmen and their families. If you head out for the holidays, remember that I want to see each and every one of you back here, happy , healthy and ready for the new year.

Liz and I wish you all a joyous holiday season! You are truly our Nation's finest Airmen, developing and advancing space power for America. Thanks again for your service to our great Nation and for making a positive, intentional difference every day - happy holidays!