updated 12/16/2004 4:49:10 PM ET 2004-12-16T21:49:10

Viewers and readers shared notes of gratitude and greetings to our troops serving abroad, and recovering here at home. Some of them are published, below.

"How do we begin to thank these brave soldiers fighting and dying every day simply because they were asked to fight to attain freedom for a country unknown to many of us? Impossible. We pray for every one of them and hope that they somehow muster the strength to continue. God bless them, we are filled with pride!" -Patricia Palermino, Alexandria

"Today’s world is an uncertain, and at many times, scary world. A world where violence and terror occur with altogether too much frequency— especially in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the globe. I thank all the soldiers, advisors and civilians now in those areas of the world risking their lives for a safer America. My prayers are with you everyday. Thank you and may God keep you from harm this holiday season and in 2005!" -George Salinas, Richmond, VA

"I am lost for words for appreciation for all you have done for me, this country and the people of Iraq. I pray for you everyday that you will come through this ordeal you are going through now. This one American that loves you all. I hope and pray our government does the same and will help you on your future missions." -Vince Donovan, Wantagh, Long Island,N.Y.

"Thank you for your courage and sacrifice.  I have, and will always suport your wonderful brave men and women who are putting your lives on the line, even though I have never supported the war. We will never forget you and do all that we can to make sure that you are all cared for, as you should be, in the years ahead.  Keep safe and come home to your families soon." -Wendy, San Rafael

"Thank you and may God bless you for your great sacrifice, we can never repay you but we love you and will always be grateful." -Noemi Colon, Brooklyn, New York

"To my nephew, David, as well as all the troops here and abroad...  to those who are waiting to be shipped out and to those coming home: You are so much appreciated and thought of here.  I pray everyday that you will all make it home and that you realize that you fully supported in your efforts.  God Bless and Keep you all.  Thank you." —Peggy Suarez, Skokie, IL

I would like to thank all of our troops who are putting there life on the line for our freedom. I would also like to say speek your mind when it comes to the tools you need to do your job. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. God bless. —David Crouse, Phoenix, Az

There is never a moment that all of you who are serving (in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else) are not on my mind in hopes that God protects and keeps you safe and allows you to return safely and quickly to your families. I know that no one else can truly understand the sacrifices you’ve made and continue to make daily to serve your country. I want to thank you for all you do. Please know you are not forgotten by those at home and that we know you’re doing your very best. God bless and keep you all (I’m praying daily for you all). —Diana White
Springfield, Oregon

"It is so humbling to know that men and women are fighting on my behalf every day. Please know that we appreciate every hour that you serve because it keeps our precious American freedom alive. May God continually bless you." —Gail C., Denver, CO

"I would like to thank all of you men and woman that remind me each day that what I have is a gift from your sacrifice and patriotism. Freedom comes from the effort you make for us and to show the rest of the world what can be accomplished when you stand up for what is right even though unpopular. Thank you, be brave, and come home soon." —Paul eckelman
San Diego, California

"Merry Christmas to all of our service men and women.  Thank you for your sacrifice and willingness to serve our country. You make a difference in our world.  May God watch over you and bless you and your families." —Sandra Helms, Fort Mill

"To our Brave fighting men and women... As a retired Navy man myself— who has been away from home for numerous holidays— I understand what you must feel. Your dedication and sacrifice are not unnoticed... hundreds of thousands of men and women have gone before you and made the same sacrfices... all for the good name of the United States and to protect our freedom!  We all know what you are doing and are undeniably proud of yoru efforts every minute of every day.  Keep the faith, hurry home, stay safe and please above all, keep doing what you do so well. You are appreciated....and our collective hearts ARE with you during this Holiday.  We do miss you all. Fair winds and following seas." —Foley M. Hurt, Philadelphia, PA

"God bless each and every one of you for keeping the freedom for the rest of us while being away from your family and loved ones during these holidays.I know you sacrifice yourself for us and I am eternally grateful to you. I pray for you and hope you will be coming home soon." —Linda Taggart, Springdale, Arkansas

"Greetings from Alabama (Roll Tide!!!), I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing for the United States of America as well as the people of Iraq. I feel very selfish because I didn’t enlist when I was younger. If I could have it to do all over again I would have joined the service in order to do what you brave men and women are doing now. May God Bless you all, and may you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Remember, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Good luck and hope y’all are home soon." —Bo Collier

"Thanks to all men and women of our armed services. Hate to imagine where this country would be without you. Wish you and your families the very best for the holidays and beyond." —Doug Leeds, Redmond, Ore.

"I personally know people who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I also know people who are still fighting for the freedom, which we all share. You totally rock!  Although we could never completely know what you and your families are going through I can say that you are truly our heroes, and are in out thoughts. Sometimes we don't understand why things happen the way they do but I believe that things do happen for a reason. Without you fighting for our rights and freedoms, we would not know what its like to live in a country that we are proud to call the Good Ol’ US of A. Stay strong and positive and know that we support you. Thanks to ALL the men and women in the military who give of themselves 110% everyday 24/7-365. We love ya!" —Robyn Marquart, Houston, TX

"Good job guys.  Hold your head high! I am proud to be an American. Thank you and God bless all of you!" —Jim Aquino, Massillon, Ohio

"To all of our service men, I thank you for what you are doing.  I have the utmost respect for our Marines.  My son is also a Marine and being deployed to Iraq next month.  I admire what you do for our country and for the people.  I wish you all the best and pray for your safety and fast return. Thank you again!" —Patti, Calif.

"My heart is with each and everyone who is serving in Iraq. I had a father who left during Christmas Holidays to serve in Operation Desert Storm and I know how hard it is on you and your family. Your family and country are very proud of you.  Keep up the good work. Happy Holidays to you and your families."  —B. Guthrie

"To all of our service members here and abroad, in hospitals or in harms way... my family was military for 20 years and we know the hardships and separations you have to endure.  In fact, our son was born during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 when the air war started.  He didn't see his father until he was four-months-old.  There was no greater joy then the moment they called my husband up to meet his newborn son and welcome him home. You, too, will come home.  You, too, will greet your new babies, see the loving families you have missed so much, and grow healthier day by day after an injury, because you are a tough American, who fights for freedom every day. We are so proud to be Americans and to live free every day of our lives.  You keep that freedom for us.  God bless every one of you and may you be safe and home soon." —Kathie Hout

"To all my Comrades:  Only those who have gone before you, or those that will follow can truly understand the bonds that will bind us forever.  I salute your greatness, strength, valor and courage.  It is and always will be your willingness that provides all the rest the opportunity to be free, may their gratitude of love overwhelm you.  Godspeed on your safe return home!"—John W. Bell, Olympia, Wash.

"I thank you very much for what you have done and I wish I could know each one of you, personally to show my gratitudine.  I remember you constantly in my prayers." —SFLiana

"To an American service Person, May God bless you and your family. I appreciate everything that you and your comrades are doing. I am sure that there are times that you may feel discouraged or frustrated but please hang in there. God sees what you are going through and is always there for you even if there are times when you may not feel his presence. I pray God’s grace and mercy upon each of you." —Jean McCloud, Gainesville,Fl

"I wish you all the best life has to offer. As a Vietnam Vet I am proud of the fact that you are among the few that have come forward to defend our nation as I did.  I enlisted and was never drafted, I salute you, my heros." —Fred Chase, Rockwall

"Ladies and gentlemen of our United States Armed Forces, as a fellow veteran, I wish to thank you for your sacrifices, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial. Your sacrifices will be remembered with gratitude by future thinking generations of all nations." —Kevin Moore, Roswell, New Mexico

"I saw a bumper sticker on a van today—‘Half of my heart is in Iraq’ Well, I want to rewrite it by saying, ‘Half of my heart is with the U.S. Troops wherever they are.’  There aren’t enough words in the English language to express the gratitude and admiration that I have for you Brave Men and Women. I pray everyday for all of you and ask that God Bless You and Keep you safe and that you will return to your loved ones very soon, safe and sound. If there is anything I can do to make your life more comfortable, please ask, and I’ll try my best to accommodate you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart." —Carmella Pucci, White Oak, PA

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