The holidays are a special time of year to pause and take stock of the many blessings we enjoy, not just as human beings, but as Americans and Texans. Of all those blessings, I'd offer that the most precious is our freedom.
There are thousands of Texans serving the cause of freedom all over the world, in dangerous places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Driven by a dedication to our country and communities, they'll spend the holidays thousands of miles from parents, friends, spouses and children.
I encourage you to keep our fighting men and women in your thoughts and prayers, along with their families who anxiously await their return. At the same time, I hope you'll remember the folks who keep our neighborhoods safe: our state's first responders.
While we enjoy the comforts of home with loved ones, these brave men and women are on the job, providing care in the back of an ambulance, preparing to respond to a fire call or patrolling our international border.
We should never take them for granted and we should definitely keep them in our prayers as they sacrifice for our safety.
So, during this holiday season, remember to thank a first responder or salute a veteran for their service and pray for God's protection on them and their families.
May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the Great State of Texas.