As we reflect on our many blessings this Thanksgiving holiday, Barbara and I want to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation and thank you for all you do as members of the S.C. Military Department and S.C. National Guard family.
This Thanksgiving is significant, as it is the first time since the S.C. National Guard began deploying in 2002 to fight terrorism, we will have all of our units out of a combat zone for the holidays. This profound moment in our organization’s history is not without sadness, as we will never forget our 16 heroes who died while serving overseas. We also pause to remember all members of our Guard family who are no longer with us. Please keep their families and loved ones in your prayers, as these losses surely continue to weigh heavily on their hearts.
Many of you returned this year from long separations after deployments to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Colombia and abroad. We are happy to have you home. During winter storms Pax and Leon, many of you were there, assisting stranded motorists, moving medical personnel, transporting road salt, or clearing debris. You also worked tirelessly to sustain your readiness through annual training events, weekend drills and numerous support missions. Some of your roles may have been to coordinate or plan these efforts, please know your hard work does not go unnoticed. Even though there were long hours and often challenges to overcome, you still responded and executed your duties superbly.
Do take time this Thanksgiving holiday to relax among family and friends. If you know someone who may be alone this holiday, please reach out to them. Please keep those who cannot be home with loved ones in your prayers. We still have S.C. National Guard members defending the National Capital region and on duty protecting the homeland. We are forever grateful for all of you for representing the very best in our nation.
From our home to yours, we wish you all a happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving.
Bob and Barbara Livingston