Take Time to Thank Military Families this Christmas

Dec 25, 2023
Frankly Speaking

On Christmas morning, 1776, as George Washington traversed the freezing waters of the Delaware River, his endeavor seemed more like a last-ditch-effort than a major battlefield operation. Under his command, the first year of America’s fight for independence had not gone his way, and after losing a string of key battles, Washington saw his targets on the other side of the Delaware as an opportunity to shift his luck. 

What he could not have known at the time was that the forthcoming battle would serve as a turning point in the War. Washington’s vision of a free America would soon be realized, and now, 247 years later, that vision is unchanged. For this gift, we have our brave servicemen and women to thank. 

Just like the heroes who crossed the Delaware and stormed the beaches of Normandy, the men and women in uniform bear the full weight of America’s independence on their shoulders. The ability to enjoy peace, freedom, and time with family during the holidays rests upon the backs of millions of servicemembers. It’s an idea that we must take into account everyday, but especially so while those serving us are away from their families this Christmas. With this in mind, it is essential that we do everything we can to support these men and women. 

That’s why, even during times of fierce partisanship and infighting, I was encouraged that Congress was able to continue its 63-year tradition of passing a bipartisan agreement that strengthens our national security and supports America’s servicemen and women. With wars in Ukraine and Israel, conflict brewing in the South China Sea, and military families looking for support, this could not wait. That’s why both sides of the political aisle came together to deliver the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The NDAA takes bold measures to defend ourselves, both at home and abroad. Not only does it provide necessary funding for the military preparedness of ourselves and our allies, but it does so with proper oversight to ensure American tax dollars are accounted for.  

It also takes unprecedented strides in supporting military families. An increase in basic pay, parental leave, and funding for military children’s educations are but a few examples of how this year’s NDAA serves military families. Furthermore, it delivers much-needed funds to Oklahoma military installations in order to improve training operations.

As you gather together with friends and family this Christmas, it is important that we take time to reflect on the American heroes – both past and present – who fought for the freedoms we now enjoy. 

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