House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) released a holiday video message Saturday to U.S. military members across the globe, reading letters from Americans wishing them a Merry Christmas and thanking the troops for their service.
"We are so lucky in this country to celebrate Christmas during a time of peace and we all owe our men and women in uniform an enormous debt of gratitude for what they do to keep us safe," Ryan said.
Ryan sent an email two weeks ago asking for people to respond with a message honoring the troops and wishing them happy holidays, and he said the response was "overwhelming."
"Carolyn in Kentucky, she passed along this message: ‘Thank you so much for your service!' My dad was a 20-year Army man & my brother spent 20 years in the Navy, so I know it's a tough life. I really do appreciate you & pray for you. Merry Christmas," Ryan read.
Ryan's office said it received more than 25,000 messages in response.
"I want to send my own message of appreciation to all the men and women who put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy the holidays with our loved ones. Wherever you are across the globe, Merry Christmas, and thank you for serving the greatest country on earth," Ryan said.