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Obama Visits Service Members in Hawaii on Christmas Day

  • VOA News

First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama express their thanks to members of the military and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Dec. 25, 2015.

First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama express their thanks to members of the military and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Dec. 25, 2015.

President Barack Obama celebrated Christmas in Hawaii with a visit to a Marine Corps base and leisure time with his family.

Obama's visit to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay has become an annual tradition. He made his appearance in the base's cafeteria, where he spoke about the six U.S. airmen killed in a suicide bombing last week outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Service members and their families had gathered in the cafeteria to greet the president and first lady Michelle Obama, who were dressed casually for Hawaii's tropical weather.

A group of Marines look on, ready to snap pictures, as President Barack Obama thanks service members and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Dec. 25, 2015.

A group of Marines look on, ready to snap pictures, as President Barack Obama thanks service members and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Dec. 25, 2015.

The president said his annual visit to the base has become one of his family's favorite things to do at the holidays because it allows them to say thank you for the members' military service, and the sacrifices of their families.

He said the nation was "extraordinarily grateful" for the service of the six airmen and all service members, calling them "outstanding, brave Americans."

Obama and the first lady posed for pictures with the service members and joked about getting their "baby fix" from service members who had brought their young children to see the president.

Earlier in the day, the president made phone calls to other service members from each branch of the military who are stationed around the world. On Christmas morning, the Obama family opened gifts together and sang Christmas carols.

The president spent time with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, on Christmas Eve, going on a hike and a trip to a beach. The Obamas later had dinner out with family and friends.

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