From the desk of Col. Benjamin C. Jones, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander:
November is a time for gratitude. We give thanks for both large things and small, for both material comforts and spiritual blessings, for both our personal strength and the Family who supports and sustains us. But Thanksgiving is not simply about self. As we remind ourselves of our many blessings, I encourage us that we also remind ourselves to remember the needs of others.
Concerning the needs of others, many do not have the good fortune to spend time with their Families over the holiday. This Thanksgiving Day, I ask each of you to remember the deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Civilians separated from their loved ones and to keep them in your thoughts and prayers for their safe return home. Their sacrifice makes it possible for others to know freedom.
For the Families separated from loved ones, the holiday can be challenging. To make it a little less challenging, I encourage Families in our community to invite single Soldiers and the Families of deployed service members into their home to share in their holiday celebration. I also encourage Families to do the same for any members of our USAG Ansbach community who may be alone this Thanksgiving. I have always associated Thanksgiving with Family, and I see our community is a Family.
Stay mindful of the health and safety of your Family, your friends, and yourselves. The Garrison Safety Office has provided a useful list of tips on preparing food hygienically and safely, which you can read http://ansbachhometownherald.com/safety-thanksgiving-2016.
If you travel this holiday, keep in mind your security as well. Use extra caution in crowded and public spaces such as hotel lobbies, nightclubs, sports arenas, and Christmas markets, where there could be an increased possibility of a terrorist attack. In the event of an emergency in crowded, public spaces, take note of any exit points. To ensure your safety when you travel, visit the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, at https://step.state.gov/step.
To all members of the USAG Ansbach community, I wish you a safe and joyful Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy your time and return to us safe, sound, and happy.