During a video released on Saturday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) read notes to soldiers that were sent in to his office.
“Merry Christmas everyone! From my family in Janesville to all of yours, I hope you have a fantastic holiday season with family and friends, and I hope you are looking forward to a prosperous 2018.
We are so lucky in this country to celebrate Christmas during a time of peace and we all owe our men and women in uniform an enormous debt of gratitude for what they do to keep us safe. You know, two weeks ago, I sent out an email asking you to write back a quick message honoring our troops and wishing them happy holidays. The response was overwhelming and I wanted to share some of these notes that we received that exemplify what Christmas is all about:
John & Ginger in Ohio wrote: ‘Merry Christmas! God Bless and Keep You safe this holiday season! Prayers for you and your family. Thank you for your service!’
Carolyn in Kentucky, she passed along this message: ‘Thank you so much for your service! My dad was a 20-year Army man & my brother spent 20 years in the Navy, so I know it’s a tough life. I really do appreciate you & pray for you. Merry Christmas!’
Or, from Illinois, Dina, she said: ‘Thank You and God Bless you for fighting for our country and the freedom we enjoy every day. Merry Christmas.’
Or, we even got some good ones from some Wisconsinites:
From Walworth County, Connie wrote in this: ‘Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers through 2017 and into 2018. Blessings to you all.’
Or, Karen from New Berlin, she said this: ‘Thank you for keeping the world safe. You have a very blessed Christmas and will be home to your families soon.’
And finally, Richard in Milton wrote: ‘Merry Christmas. Stay safe. Thank you for your service to this great country.’
I could read thousands more of these warm notes that we got back. They all illustrate the Christmas spirit and put on display the very best that Americans have to offer. I want to send my own message of appreciation to all the men and women who put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy the holidays with our loved ones. Wherever you are across the globe, Merry Christmas, and thank you for serving the greatest country on earth.
I hope everyone has a great holiday season and takes some time to truly appreciate how blessed we are as a country. Thanks so much, and again, Merry Christmas.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett