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Giving Thanks

November 25, 2015

The holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, is a good opportunity to reconnect with friends and family so we can share old memories and create new ones along the way. The holidays give us the chance to reflect on and give thanks for the blessings of another year and celebrate our faith that tomorrow will be more joyous and prosperous than today. It is through this faith that I believe America’s best days lie ahead, and for that, I am thankful and excited for what is to come.

I consider myself a lottery winner in the fact that I was lucky enough to be born in the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and because of that, my family and I can share in the rich traditions America has afforded us. Each Thanksgiving – depending on the weather in South Dakota, of course – my family tries to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether that’s a pheasant hunt in the prairie or a makeshift football game in the backyard, I value every moment I am able to share with them. With two grown daughters, it has been a remarkable opportunity to see them grow and experience life’s ups and downs along the way, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for their futures.  

President Reagan was right about a lot of things and the importance of family and tradition were among them. He called families the “cornerstone of American society” and said they “nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms. In the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities, human dignity and human frailty.” In today’s chaotic world, Reagan’s words especially ring true.

In addition to my faith, family, and freedom, I am thankful for the brave men and women who defend and protect them. I often say that without a strong national defense, everything else is just conversation. It is because of the true sacrifice made by our military, who all too often spend the holidays away from their own families, that we are able to carve turkeys, watch football, and spend time with the people we care about. Please remember them this holiday season and the opportunities that are created because of their service – and to all who have served, thank you.

Whether you are traveling or staying home this year, I hope this season is met with joy, happiness, and safety. From my family to yours, happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays.