WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West released the following holiday message to the Fleet Dec. 12.
"Shipmates and Navy families,
Can you believe another year is almost over? It's amazing how quickly time passes when you're staying busy! It seems we were kicking off 2011 just yesterday and here we are, about to usher in 2012.
With the traditional festivities of December upon us, I want to wish you all the happiest possible holidays, and to say thank you for the outstanding service and support you provide to our Navy and nation. I continue to be humbled by your selfless dedication and the outstanding job you do every day around the globe.
We faced some challenges this year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but we will get through them together as we have done for the past 236 years. The Navy, after all, is a team sport and in 2011, we enjoyed many operational successes together that are worth celebrating. They are your legacy ... the deployments, the steady presence in difficult places, the helping hand when natural disasters left vulnerable people in their wake.
You and your Shipmates worked hard and sacrificed often. As you visit with loved ones, scour the shopping malls, or hit the ski slopes during these joyous weeks, take a moment to reflect on the special appreciation America has for you and your family. Be proud of your accomplishments, and share sea stories with moms, dads, siblings, aunts, uncles, and old buddies.
Most of all, be safe and enjoy the holiday season to its fullest. Celebrate responsibly: You are important to our Navy family and we need every one of you to return recharged for the next adventure. Don't let bad judgment ruin the New Year or your life. Look out for each other, and keep an eye on your Shipmates who may be having a difficult time.
It's also important that we remember the thousands of our Shipmates who are deployed, on station around the world vigilantly keeping the watch, ready to answer our nation's call. They are there ensuring we have this chance to deck the halls, gather around family dinner tables, and belt out Auld Lang Syne in a storm of confetti.
Thank you again for serving our great Navy and preserving our nation's freedom. Sailors and families, you are truly among this country's greatest gifts.
Happy holidays Shipmates and HOOYAH!
For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/mcpon/.