Good morning. As families across our Nation gather to celebrate Christmas, Laura and I
send our best wishes for the holidays. We hope that your Christmas will be
blessed with family and fellowship.
At this special time of year, we give thanks for Christ's message of love and
hope. Christmas reminds us that we have a duty to others, and we see that sense
of duty fulfilled in the men and women who wear our Nation's uniform. America is
blessed to have fine citizens who volunteer to defend us in distant lands. For
many of them, this Christmas will be spent far from home, and on Christmas our
Nation honors their sacrifice, and thanks them for all they do to defend our
At Christmas, we also recognize the sacrifice of our Nation's military
families. Staying behind when a family member goes to war is a heavy burden, and
it is particularly hard during the holidays. To all our military families
listening today, Laura and I thank you, and we ask the Almighty to bestow His
protection and care on your loved ones as they protect our Nation.
This Christmas season comes at a time of change here in our Nation's capital
-- with a new Congress set to arrive, a review of our Iraq strategy underway,
and a new Secretary of Defense taking office. If you're serving on the front
lines halfway across the world, it is natural to wonder what all this means for
you. I want our troops to know that while the coming year will bring change, one
thing will not change, and that is our Nation's support for you and the vital
work you do to achieve a victory in Iraq. The American people are keeping you in
our thoughts and prayers, and we will make sure you have the resources you need
to accomplish your mission.
This Christmas, millions of Americans are coming together to show our
deployed forces and wounded warriors love and support. Patriotic groups and
charities all across America are sending gifts and care packages to our
servicemen and women, visiting our troops recovering at military hospitals,
reaching out to children whose moms and dads are serving abroad, and going to
airports to welcome our troops home and to let them know they are appreciated by
a grateful Nation.
One man who's making a difference this holiday season is Jim Wareing. Jim is
the founder of New England Caring for Our Military. This year, Jim helped
organize a gift drive by thousands of students from Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. Students from kindergarten to high school collected more than 20,000
gifts for our troops abroad. The gifts are being sent to troops stationed in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Korea, Japan, and Africa. The care packages include
books and puzzles, board games, phone cards, fresh socks, and T-shirts, and
about 7,000 handmade holiday greeting cards and posters. Jim says, quote "It's
probably always hard for troops to be far away from home, but especially hard on
the holidays. I use this as an opportunity to try to pay them back for my
Citizens like Jim Wareing represent the true strength of our country, and
they make America proud. I urge every American to find some way to thank our
military this Christmas season. If you see a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, or
a member of the Coast Guard, take a moment to stop and say, "Thanks for your
service." And if you want to reach out to our troops, or help out the military
family down the street, the Department of Defense has set up a website to help.
It is: AmericaSupportsYou.Mil. This website lists more than 150 compassionate
organizations that can use your help. In this season of giving, let us stand
with the men and women who stand up for America.
At this special time of year, we reflect on the miraculous life that began in
a humble manger 2,000 years ago. That single life changed the world, and
continues to change hearts today. To everyone celebrating Christmas, Laura and I
wish you a day of glad tidings.
Thank you for listening, and Merry Christmas.