Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Letter to the Force - Holiday Message

To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Families of the National Guard

The song promises us “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  All across the country, there are wish lists and tinsel, eggnog and ivy, holiday decorations and music.

For many, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  We have the chance to slow down and spend time with our family.  We are surrounded by the sounds of the season.  It is a time to start traditions, or cultivate the ones passed down through the years.  We reflect on our good fortune, and say a quiet prayer of gratitude for this moment. 

For some, however, the holiday season can be difficult.  Maybe the holiday expectations are overwhelming.  Maybe we feel isolated and alone.  Maybe it’s been a hard year and it feels like there’s nothing worth celebrating. 

It is up to each of us to reach out and help those who may be struggling with this time of year.  It starts with the people we see every day—our colleagues, our family, and our friends.  There’s never a better time to reach out and say “You matter to me.”  If you find yourself struggling, or know someone who is, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help—there are many people who want to help.  You can find countless resources at Military OneSource,

If you or a loved one are in crisis, reach out to the Veterans/Military Crisis Line for confidential support available 24/7. Call 800-273-8255 (press 1), text 838255, or chat online at  You can also contact your Director of Psychological Health, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, chaplain, chain of command, or supervisor.  The only thing that matters is getting the help you need. 

Every Soldier, Airmen, and National Guard family member is a gift—and in the season of giving, we give thanks for your ongoing service to our Nation.  Thank you for another year of making a difference in our communities and in the defense of the United States.  We wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and look forward to another year of being Always Ready, Always There!



Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau


Tony L. Whitehead
SEA, U.S. Air Force

National Guard Bureau



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