Dear brothers and sisters of the Veteran Community; service members, family and friends. I wish to extend to you a kind word of encouragement with the understanding that this most joyous time of the year can be particularly hard for those contending with the travails of loss, illness or separation. Truly, as Thanksgiving rolls into Christmas and ultimately the New Year, many of us can experience sadness, which lays in stark contrast to the spirit of the Holiday Season.I love you and share your sadness during this time of the year. The spaces left behind by those we loved and lost are pronounced during these days of celebration as we mark the passing of time and sweet, sorrowful nostalgia of happier times. Many of us face the added burden of stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD, which only amplify the emotional nature of the season.I love you and you are in my prayers. You must place your faith in the sun rising tomorrow and a new day that brings with it the hope and opportunity for a better disposition. If you are swimming in deep water right now, remember that there is dry land ahead and golden sunshine to warm you. During these difficult times, you will find joy and fortitude in helping others in need and extending kindness; re-connecting with old friends, volunteering, forgiveness of trespassers and seeking opportunities to help strangers even in the smallest ways. These good acts will be returned to you threefold and lift the burden from your own shoulders as well.I love you. The light of this world is richer for your presence here,and I wish you blessings, peace and comfort in the days ahead with prayers and happy thoughts.