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As 2012 comes to a close, by any measure the Patuxent River Community has had a remarkable year.

We've accomplished much in the past 12 months and we should be pleased that we've done it all safely and with high regard for our shipmates.

With your resilience, determination and commitment to service, we will continue to be successful in carrying out our respective missions, and we will continue to be an integral part in ensuring that our Navy and Marine Corps team can do the same.

Although this is a joyous time of year, the holidays can be stressful too as we travel, cater to additional family and friends or do a number of other activities in preparation for the celebrations. Remember to so slow down, relax, be safe and take time for yourself.

Consider your coworkers too. They may be having a hard time this holiday season and by simply asking, "How are you doing?" shows them you care, and it might relieve them of some of the stress or anxiety they may be facing.

Finally, as we gather with our friends and families to celebrate the holidays, take time to remember our brothers and sisters at arms who are not able to be home for the holidays. They are serving in harm's way around the world so that we may enjoy our freedoms at home. I ask that you keep them and their families in your prayers.

From my family to yours, have a happy, safe holiday season.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.