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A Decade to Remember

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo --

Men and Women of the 140th,

As 2009 comes to a close and we celebrate with friends, family, loved ones and in some cases for those overseas, your Wingmen, let me add my best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and a New Year that brings joy and peace to us all.

It's hard to believe that we are not only closing another busy year in the 140th, but this also brings an end to the first decade of this century. And what a decade it has been. I think we can all agree that it has been a historic time for the Air National Guard as the events of 9-11 and the follow-on global wars have placed a burden never before seen on all guardsmen, their families and their employers. There are very few of us in the Wing who haven't deployed over the past 10 years, and some cases, you may have deployed to all four of our contingency operations in support of our nation's combat efforts. All the while, many of us have defended the nation on the scopes up in Greeley or on the ramp at Buckley, 24/7, in support of our nation's number one priority, homeland defense. And as the holidays approach, many of you are preparing for an overseas deployment in the near future, some perhaps for the first time like our 200th Airlift Squadron.  We wish you a safe journey. Over this decade, some of you may have deployed alone or in small groups to locations you probably couldn't have found on a map beforehand. And let us also not forget our community and state missions whether it be blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes or political conventions. You've done it all!

In all that you have been asked to do, you have stepped up admirably with dedicated determination. Your families have borne the burden of separation with an amazing grace that has been nothing short of heroic. In a world that seems caught up in personal achievement or the latest trend, you have made a decision to do something greater than self that in most cases goes quietly unrecognized. And yet, it isn't for recognition you make these sacrifices, but for the betterment of who we are as a nation, a state, and indeed, for your very own families. The world is a better place because of your service and it is with pride that I serve with each of you. If only it were possible for everyone of you to have the opportunity to observe your actions as I do from this position I am fortunate to occupy; you too would be filled with the pride of knowing what an incredible organization the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard is. Something far greater than ourselves and worthy of all our nation can do to say thanks.

I close 2009 with a plea for you to celebrate responsibly throughout the coming year and especially over the next couple of weeks. You are far too important to injure yourself or jeopardize all that you have going for you. Please be smart and please be careful.

Thanks again to all of you for who you are and for what you do. And my best to your families.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.

Tru Eyre