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Forever Thankful

November 16, 2018

There’s a lot of truth to the old saying that the days are long, but the years are short. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the last holiday season and time spent with family and friends. For me, as we approach this Thanksgiving – and, yes, Christmas is right around the corner – it’s a good reminder that the list of things I’m thankful for gets longer each and every year, which is a blessing to be sure.

I’ve said it before, but I’ve always considered myself to be a lottery winner in that I was born in the greatest country on earth and that I’ve been able to raise my family in the land of the free and home of the brave. Family is everything to me, and the one Kimberley and I have built over the years has continued to grow. “Dad” will always be a title I’m proud of, but the joy of being a grandparent is hard to fully explain unless you are one yourself. If you are, you know exactly what I mean.  

Speaking of grandparents, my dad Harold, who is now a great grandfather (several times over), will turn 99 years old this year. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to spend time with him and create new memories. My dad has seen a lot over the years, including during his days as a fighter pilot in World War II. A veteran himself, he still shows his support for fellow freedom fighters whenever he can, which is something I’ve always admired about him.

It would be hard to be thankful for anything we enjoy in this country if it wasn’t for the selfless sacrifice that our military men and women make on a daily basis, particularly around the holiday season. It’s impossible for those of us who’ve never served to fully understand what this kind of sacrifice truly means, because as most of us are sitting around the dinner table during the holidays, many members of the military are defending freedom on the opposite side of the globe.

Because of their sacrifice, I’m thankful to live in a place where, among many other things, I can freely express my faith in God, the guiding light that keeps me focused in life. I lean on the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in my personal and professional life, and His strength helps me every single day.

Faith, freedom, and family: The constants in my life for which I’m eternally grateful.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank the people of South Dakota for having put their faith in me to serve them in the U.S. Senate. South Dakotans are my top advisors – the people who I count on to provide me with honest and straightforward advice that helps me be the best senator I can be for them and the state.

I’m also grateful to my colleagues in the Senate. They, too, offered me their faith by electing me to serve as majority whip for the next Congress, which begins in January. This new role will put me in a stronger position to give South Dakota’s issues the national attention they deserve, because when I have a seat at the leadership table, South Dakota has a seat at the leadership table.

As I mentioned, there’s a lot we can be thankful for this year and in the years to come. There’s no time like the present to reflect on it, so from my family to yours, I hope the blessings of the holiday season are upon you and your family now and in the weeks and months ahead.