As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to support our patients, our warfighters, and our great nation. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you in Navy Medicine. Thanksgiving Day for many will be an opportunity to enjoy time with family, friends, and eat good food. For some, your enjoyment will be a call or live stream video with loved ones. I ask that each of you take a moment to give thanks to those who support and encourage you. There will be many shipmates throughout Navy Medicine who will be standing the watch at sea, supporting the Marine Corps, manning wards and clinics, or our ongoing mission throughout the country and around the globe. Please remember to thank them for their continued dedication and sacrifice.
Next week FORCM Roberts and I will be traveling to Washington State and Montana to thank a few more of our shipmates who deployed on short notice to help communities in need. I fully realize that in order to support these missions, the workload at our Military Treatment Facilities also increases – so THANK YOU for carrying on our mission of taking care of Sailors, Marines, and family members while others are away. Whether we were putting shots in arms at vaccination sites, providing scientific and evidence-based data to patients so they could make informed decisions, or providing patient care at overtaxed community hospitals – we have made a significant difference; we have earned the thanks of a grateful nation.
As we enter the holiday season, we know the days can be fun and joyful, but they can also be a source of stress. Please be aware of others who may need extra support and reach out to our fellow Sailors. Even through great difficulty we can find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is an important foundation of good mental health so please pause and reflect on all that you can be thankful for. For my part, I am immensely grateful to all of you for the great work you are doing across all of our platforms in these very dynamic and challenging times. Your contributions to the mission everyday directly support the defense of our Nation’s precious freedoms. Freedoms for which we should all rejoice.
On behalf of the entire Navy Medicine Leadership Team, I cannot express our gratitude enough for all you do to care for our Sailors, Marines and their families. We are grateful and thankful for you!
Stay safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
With my deepest gratitude, SG
Bruce L. Gillingham, MD, CPE, FAOA
RADM, MC, USN
Surgeon General, U.S. Navy
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery