From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO: Today, there are almost 140 000 NATO service personnel deployed on operations and missions across the world, in Afghanistan, in the Balkans, in Iraq, in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa. All of you are demonstrating in the clearest possible way the alliance’s solidarity and its enduring commitment to security, peace and stability. But while you are away from home, your families live with the constant worry about your safety, and they have to continue their own daily lives without you. They are playing an important role, which is not always acknowledged, so I should also like to say a very special “Thank you” to your families for the support they give you while you are away. In particular, my thoughts are very much with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives during the course of their duties and with those of you who have lost friends and colleagues. I also think about those who have been injured and those who are caring for them.
This holiday season is all about peace in the world. You are performing an exceptional service for that peace, so let me take this opportunity to express my own and the alliance’s deep appreciation for your hard work and your dedication. You continue to demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in NATO. You can all be very proud of what you are achieving, and I send you and your families my very best wishes for this holiday and for the New Year.
Excerpt from the end of year message by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (photo: Getty)