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Obama Thanks Service Members From Hawaii on Christmas Day

While speaking to service members today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, President Barack Obama said, “it has been the privilege of my life to serve as your commander in chief.”

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet Marines and their family members during a Christmas Day visit to Anderson Hall Dining Facility, Dec. 25 back in 20012. The president and his wife spent time with Marines, sailors, civilians, retirees and community members aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Photo by Lance Cpl. Nathan Knapke (released).

The president said he and Michelle know how it feels to stand alongside military families and veterans, according to remarks released by the White House today.

“This is one of our favorite things to do, because it’s one of those circumstances where we get a chance to not just say thank you to our incredible men and women in uniform but, oftentimes, we also get a chance to see some families,” the soon to be outgoing commander in chief said.

The president said he is thankful for the “unbelievable service” service members have rendered the country.

“Yesterday, I called — as I do every Christmas — some of our folks that are stationed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and some in some very remote spots; some of them who, as we speak, are carrying out missions to defeat ISIL, carrying out missions to protect us from all manner of threat,” the president said.

“… As tough as it is to be deployed, the people here in America, back home, understand that every single day that you’re serving, you’re fighting for our freedom and fighting to keep us safe and fighting to maintain our way of life,” the president said.  “It’s impossible for us to fully repay what you’ve done and the sacrifices you make.  But at least it’s important to hear from us that what you do matters, and that we know about it, and that we’re grateful, and that we’ll stay grateful even when many of you end up being out of uniform and are veterans, and that we make sure that we’re serving you as well you served us.”

“And although this will be my last time addressing you as President, I want you to know that, as a citizen, my gratitude will remain and our commitment to standing by you every step of the way — that won’t stop,” the president said.

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