As 2013 comes to a close, Connie and I want to wish you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season. For me, there's no greater joy than spending the winter holidays with loved ones.
Earlier this month, I visited a homeless veteran's shelter in Cleveland. I met a man there who wore a necklace with a ring and a cross hanging from it, gifts from his family. In wearing both close to his heart, he said "I am armed with my family and my faith every day."
We should all be so lucky to always be surrounded by the love of our family and friends. But thousands of our brave troops remain far from their loved ones as they serve overseas this holiday season. I ask you to join me in thanking our men and women in uniform for their service.
We must always remember their families' service as well. Our military families have made tremendous sacrifices for our country, and we should show gratitude for their commitments, as well as they prepare for a holiday spent without their loved one.
My mother, a teacher, taught my brothers and me that you are never too old to serve. It's a lesson I've carried with me throughout my life, and one I especially think of during the holidays.
Service is part of our country's moral fabric, and especially in this season of giving, we must remember to take the time to help those in need.
Whether it's reading a book to a child, picking up litter around your neighborhood, or lending a hand to bag groceries at the local food bank, helping those in need is what makes us a great state and nation.
As we look forward to a prosperous 2014, let this spirit of generosity guide us to work together to better ourselves and our communities. Together, we will change Ohio, we will change our nation, and we will usher in a new era of productivity and prosperity.
From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.