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AMC commander, chief send well holiday wishes

Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Mobility Command commander, speaks with members of Team Fairchild inside the maintenance hangar during an all call at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Dec. 12, 2012. The general recently took the reins of AMC and has made it a goal to visit with Airmen in person to explain his goals, priorities and expectations for everyone in the command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patino)

Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Mobility Command commander, speaks with members of Team Fairchild inside the maintenance hangar during an all call at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Dec. 12, 2012. The general recently took the reins of AMC and has made it a goal to visit with Airmen in person to explain his goals, priorities and expectations for everyone in the command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patino)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- As we continue through this holiday season and approach the new year, Ricki and I, along with Chief Kaiser and Debbie, want to share how extremely proud we are of you - our mobility Airmen and the mission you accomplish every day. Thank you for all you do in support of our great nation.

Whether you're at home station or deployed to a forward operating location, the work you do is incredibly important. Your service and sacrifice are real--and truly appreciated.
Sometimes the most important missions we do hinge on the simplest acts. Over this past Thanksgiving, Airmen at the 721st Aerial Port Squadron at Ramstein AB noticed a Facebook post asking for help getting an escort officer of a Fallen Warrior his service dress. The escort, caught without his service dress in a situation that called for it, wanted to complete his fallen friend's final journey home to the grieving family with the honor and dignity it deserved. The 721st answered the call and when he landed at Ramstein with the remains of his wingman, the escort's service dress was there waiting for him. A simple gesture, yet so profound. That is just one example of how you care for one another.

As you well know, mobility operations continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From supporting contingencies in Africa to President Obama's attendance at the funeral for former South African President Nelson Mandela, you answer the call. All the while, you are still responsible for supporting our joint and coalition partners around the world. Therefore, it should come as no surprise our Airmen will complete nearly 2,000 missions between Christmas and New Year's Day.

As we celebrate the season, please take a moment to remember our deployed Airmen and their families who are not able to be together for the holidays. Airmen like Staff Sergeant Brandon Talmadge from the 436th Communications Squadron at Dover AFB who is currently deployed in support of Combined Security Transitions Command - Afghanistan. He is one of many Airmen serving in a place of danger so that others can remain free.

Our Airmen and their families are the true strength of America's Air Force. While the holiday season is a joyous occasion, it can be a difficult time for others. Watch out for your wingman - look him or her in the eye and ask how they are doing. Be mindful of those around you, keep them close in your thoughts, and help them feel cared for during the holidays. Please remember that each of you is a valuable member of our Air Force family, take a minute to think about your options when you engage in holiday activities and consider safety in everything you do.

Have a wonderful holiday season and may 2014 be a joyous and prosperous year.