Like many South Dakotans, our family always enjoys looking back at many of our Thune Family Christmas cards from years past. While our daughters like to poke fun at the hairstyles and outfits of days gone by, the best part of looking through the annual Christmas cards is the opportunity to reflect on the many fond memories we have shared as a family and the many gifts we have been given.
As we share in the love and friendship of our friends and families throughout the holidays, we also remember the giving spirit of the season. Christmas is the time when the generosity in the hearts of South Dakotans is most on display. South Dakotans know that in difficult times we can depend on our friends and neighbors to support one another during the Christmas season. Not all South Dakotans have the means to make financial donations to those in need, but many South Dakotans will choose to donate their time and talents, offering a helpful hand to a neighbor in need, organizing food drives, and providing a warm meal and gifts to less-fortunate children.
It would be impossible to enjoy the gifts of the season without the generous service of those South Dakotans who will be spending Christmas very far away from friends and family because of their commitment to defending our nation in the Armed Forces. I know there are very few in South Dakota who do not know someone who will be spending Christmas in harm's way, and I ask that all South Dakotans keep these brave young men and women in their prayers.
As I gather with my wife Kimberley and our family this Christmas, I would like to wish all South Dakotans a Merry Christmas and thank you for the opportunity to work for you. It is an honor and a blessing for which I am truly grateful. May God continue to bless our nation and South Dakota.