Guest Column: Giving Thanks This Holiday Season
State Representative Andy Thompson
November 24, 2015
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Thanksgiving will be upon us shortly.  Each of us has much for which to be thankful—our health, our homes, our communities, and our amazing country. These can be dangerous times, and the U.S.A. remains a beacon of freedom and a land of opportunity for those around the world.
I have a long list of people to thank, but at the top of the list are my family and friends and our Creator. I’m sure it was the same way for the pilgrims. This time of year you realize how many of your loved ones, including parents and grandparents, have passed on. Nevertheless, I am truly blessed to be able to spend the holidays with my wife Jade, and our children, Nat and Gus. Unfortunately, Annalea will not be coming home from Chicago this year.
We are also fortunate this year to have an exchange student from Italy—Marcantonio Finnochiaro staying with us. I can’t wait to see how we’ll fit his name on his birthday cake! I’m sure he’ll find Thanksgiving to be an extra special occasion, because family is so important to him, and he’s a long way from home. Seeing the holidays through his eyes will be an especial thrill.
There are many who can’t be with their families this time of year, and that includes those serving our country at a military post at home or overseas.  In answering the call to defend us, our servicemen and women are sacrificing a lot. I also want to acknowledge the many veterans who have served our country with honor, humility and distinction.
I am especially fortunate to represent the citizens of the 95th Ohio House District. Being a voice for southeastern Ohio at the Statehouse is a blessing every day. I’ve had a chance to meet so many wonderful individuals and families, and, in some cases, to assist them with a concern. Through the Ohio House of Representatives we are able to enact legislation to help make Ohio a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on what is truly important in your life. In between lively conversation and savory meals this Thanksgiving, please take a moment and connect with what’s important. Remember what you are thankful for and enjoy a holiday with the most important people in your life.  I wish everyone safe travels wherever you may be celebrating, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with food, fellowship and joy!

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