This post originally appeared on AddictingInfo.org.
Away from the partisan fight in Washington, D.C., President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama continued a tradition that has been a hallmark of his presidency at Christmastime: saluting the troops.
The President and First Lady, on vacation in Hawaii, visited the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. The base, which was attacked as part of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, is the home to 9,517 members of the military, their families, and civilian employees.
Addressing the troops and their families on Christmas Day, President Obama said the event was one of his and Mrs. Obama’s favorities, because, they get an opportunity to “say thank you on behalf of the American people.”
President Obama also addressed the recent suicide bomb attack that killed six servicemen and women in Afghanistan:
“As we know, when you’re deployed overseas, it’s tough,” Obama said Friday. He said th at although his administration has brought home troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, “there are still folks over there every single day and it’s still dangerous, as we saw this past week, where we had some outstanding, brave men and women who were killed.”
“So we never take for granted what all of you do for the American people,” Obama said. “You help keep us free. You help keep us strong. Whatever service you’re in, whatever branch, we are extraordinarily grateful for everything that you do every single day.”
The fitness-obsessed President also joked with the Marines about the fact that despite his role as their commander-in-chief, many of them are in far better shape.
“The only problem I’ve got when I’m here is having to work out with Marines in the gym,” Obama said during his annual Christmas Day visit with U.S. troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. “Because I generally feel like your commander in chief is in pretty good shape, and then I get next to some guy, you know, curling 100 pounds and it makes me feel small.”
The mainstream media rarely focuses on Obama’s dedication to the troops, and Republicans are often dismissive in discussing the connection between Obama and the men and women he commands, but it is very real, powerful, and strong – and he isn’t about to send them into harm’s way without a good reason for doing so.
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