By Congressman Mike Turner
As we celebrate this holiday season, our thoughts turn away from the details of daily life and begin to focus more on our families and how fortunate we are to have them in our lives. Though this is a difficult time for many American families, this time of year offers us the important opportunity to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas apart from the crowded shopping malls and the exchanging of gifts with our friends and family members. I am hopeful that Americans will remember our troops who are deployed around the world and unable to spend this holiday with their families, as well as those who are less fortunate here at home.
Americans are very fortunate to live in a nation where our freedoms and rights are firmly established and protected. The responsibility of protecting these rights and ensuring our nation’s safety falls to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military. Because of our military commitments across the world, many thousands of our troops will be spending their holidays on deployment and away from their families and the everyday comforts we all take for granted.
However, there are organizations that are dedicated to providing our troops with the support they deserve. One of these organizations is Operation Show Our Love which is run by Chris and Cindy St. John of Brookville, Ohio. This organization gathers items such as DVD’s, magazines, snacks, chewing gum, toothpaste, and other everyday necessities and ships them to troops around the world. They are dependent on donations for their operations and to date have shipped 2,410 care packages to soldiers in 24 countries. Those interested in learning more about Operation Show Our Love may visit their website at www.operationshowourlove.org.
Christmas offers all of us a chance to share in a spirit of generosity. This time of year, more than any other, is an opportunity to better our community through simple acts of service and giving. For that reason, the Christmas season is an opportunity to give thanks for all that we have and give back to those in need.
The Christmas season is also a time for giving back to one another. This is a season to remember that charity extends beyond the home and that while cash gifts are important, the gift of your time is equally important. Please remember to support those who volunteer at churches, senior centers and homeless shelters.
As you gather with friends and family this season, please join with me to reflect on the importance of Christmas in our lives. Pausing for a moment to reflect on the time we have with our family and friends will make us each more grateful for all that we have. On behalf of my wife, Lori, and our two daughters, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.