The hostess of the White House extended special recognition to the effort military service people posted overseas make to keep the country safe on Dec. 21.
Melania Trump has extended her gratitude to the Army, Navy and Air Force who are stationed beyond U.S. borders and will be unable to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
“During this holiday season we send our prayers to all who are serving overseas and who will not be home with their families over Christmas,” the first lady said on a video posted to Twitter. “On behalf of our family I want to thank every member of our military and their families for their devotion to our country and their courage to defend our freedoms.”
She asked troops not to feel alone during the festive season and instead believe the entire country is remembering and supporting their sacrifice.
“During this holiday season, we send our prayers to all members of the military serving overseas,” she said. “Our nation is with you and thanks you for all the sacrifices you make to keep us safe. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy New Year.”
The remarks came soon after the president signed what he described to be the “largest defense bill ever.” The $1.4 trillion 2020 National Defense Authorization Act will reverse what The Associated Press calls “unpopular and unworkable” automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs.
“New planes, ships, missiles, rockets, and equipment of every kind, and all made right here in the United States,” Donald Trump said on Twitter. “Additionally, we got border wall (being built) funding nice.”
There is also funding to establish Space Force, which the news agency claims to be the first new military service in more than 70 years.
“Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Trump said during the signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, 21 miles southeast of Washington. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital and we are leading but we are not leading by enough, and very shortly we will be leading by a lot.”
The new Space Force will be administered by acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan. The law requires the chief of space operations to have a rank of four star general and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff body of senior uniformed leaders.
Trump has appointed Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond who has led the U.S. Space Command. Exactly how the Space Force will operate and comprise is unknown. The Associated Press believes it will initially employ about 200 staff and have a first year budget of $40 million, which is much smaller than the Army’s 480,000 active-duty soldiers and budget of about $181 billion.
The Pentagon spends about $14 billion a year on space operations, most of which is in the Air Force budget according to the news agency.