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In Gratitude and Thanksgiving

We wanted to take a moment to provide an exciting update since my last email. Georgia was recently recognized for an historic tenth year in a row as the nation's No. 1 place for business, with record jobs and investment in every corner of our state.

This designation is due to our pro-jobs, pro-family and pro-growth climate.We're so proud of the hard-working Georgians and leadership of Gov. Kemp, and Gov. Deal before him, to ensure we remain the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.

As we approach Thanksgiving, Whitney and I are reminded of a quote by William Arthur Ward: 

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

Ward was a prolific educator, author and speaker who wrote most frequently on his Christian faith and deep sense of patriotism for our country. His reflections on the human spirit and the importance of gratitude in our daily lives are especially meaningful during Thanksgiving.

In a time where we are constantly on the go and inundated with social media, 24 hour-news (always bad) and political division, my family and I are more grateful than ever for the “ordinary” and “routine” blessings Ward describes.

We're particularly thankful for the Houston County community, where I was raised where my family lives today. There are many things that make Houston County special, but this Thanksgiving we want to recognize some “ordinary” jobs and the people who perform them:

Our military servicemen and women: My grandfather, a veteran, moved to Houston County in the early ‘60s to work at Robins Air Base. The presence of our active duty and veterans here has had a profound impact on me growing up and is a point of pride for our community. My siblings and I were raised by a veteran who was raised by a veteran, and this Thanksgiving we want to give a special thanks to our servicemen and women and their families for their daily sacrifices. Your service and selflessness are the backstop on which our freedoms rely.

Our law enforcement and first responders: Our law enforcement officers and first responders work long hours for modest pay, often in dangerous or hazardous conditions. Sheriff Cullen Talton has served in this capacity since 1972. At a time when the world is constantly changing and increasingly self-service, Sheriff Talton has devoted his career, and his life, to servant leadership. His loyalty and steadfastness is a model to us all and something of which Houston County can be proud. Sheriff Talton’s public service, and that of our deputies, fire fighters, paramedics and others keep our families secure and community strong. We're grateful for the many men and women who run towards a threat so others may run for safety.

Our educators: I’m the grandson, brother and nephew of k-12 school teachers. I'm also a proud graduate of the Houston County school system. There is no greater gift we can give our students than a strong public education, and our teachers at the very core of that. We’ve seen firsthand the challenges and blessings that come with this profession. Educating our students requires patience, passion and lots of stamina! We’ve all had teachers who made a profound difference in our lives decades after leaving the classroom, and we're amazed and thankful for what they do every day.

May God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Paid for by Friends of Shaw Blackmon
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