24 December 2009
Many people know that General Petraeus is one of finest Americans ever minted. To me, General Petraeus is a strategic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. If General Petraeus didn't show up, we likely would have flown our Iraq efforts into a mountain. We now have a solid chance for success in Afghanistan.
I emailed asking for General Petraeus to say something to our folks for Christmas. General Petraeus responded with this excellent message:
As you know, our troopers are doing magnificent work in Afghanistan, Iraq, and a host of other places throughout the Central Command area and, indeed, throughout the world. Many of them will celebrate the holidays while deployed on combat and contingency operations, defending our nation's freedoms far from home and far from loved ones. They - and their families - have made enormous sacrifices in recent years, in many cases deploying multiple times and enduring long separations from those at home while carrying out important missions in challenging conditions against tough enemies.
As we all remember our many personal blessings this holiday season, we should also take a moment to remember how truly fortunate our country is to have the remarkable men and women of our armed forces who serve so courageously and so selflessly. They truly are America's new greatest generation.
To our troopers overseas and to those here at home: thank you for all that you have done to help keep America safe and to protect the values for which generations of Americans have fought in the past. We are deeply grateful for your extraordinary service in recent years and we are equally thankful for all that we know you will do in the years ahead. It remains the greatest of privileges to serve with each of you.
Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday season and a great year in 2010. May God bless our great country and each and every one of you, and may God bless our troopers serving around the world and their families at home. Thank you very much!
GEN David H. Petraeus
Commander, US Central Command