South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham used the Thanksgiving weekend GOP address
to thank the men and women serving in the U.S., military, particularly those who are far away from their homes during the holiday season.
"There are many Americans who will not be able to celebrate this holiday season at their home," said Graham, who serves on the Senate's Armed Services Committee.
"Some are serving our nation overseas, thousands of miles away. And in their world, the creature comforts you and I take for granted -- things like running water and electricity -- are considered luxuries."
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Graham said he has been "fortunate to witness firsthand" the work that troops in all the military's branches continue to do in the "most challenging of circumstances."
"Whether in the cities of Iraq or the many remote, isolated villages of Afghanistan, I’ve seen the oppressive conditions under which our bravest Americans are forced to operate," said Graham. "Yet our soldiers continue to persevere and carry on, driven by a desire and commitment to keep our enemies at bay. For these Americans, their service to protecting our nation is more than a job. It is a calling."
The American troops maintain a determination not to surrender, and "time and time again they show a willingness to reenlist and return to the fight," while remaining compassionate toward each other and the least fortunate.
"Whether sharing their food and water, or pooling their own money to buy a soccer ball for a child who owns next to nothing – they are living proof of the American spirit of helping others who are down and out," said Graham.
"Our American soldiers serve as some of the best ambassadors the United States could ever hope for. They are tough and determined, yet equally kind and compassionate."
Graham said he wanted to express appreciation not only from his own party, but from Democrats and independents, as well, to the military. In addition, he lauded military spouses and the children of those serving for their sacrifices.
“It is because of the bravery of our troops, and their willingness to endure tremendous hardships that we are able to be at home with our families this holiday season," said Graham.
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