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President Obama Visits US Troops in Hawaii for Holiday

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama, joined by first lady Michelle Obama, speaks during an event to thank service members and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Dec. 25, 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, visited American troops at a military base Sunday for the last time during his presidency.

Speaking weeks before President-elect Donald Trump's scheduled inauguration, Obama called his time as commander-in-chief "the privilege of my life."

"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," Obama said.

On Saturday, he called troops deployed overseas, telling them Americans back at home understood they were fighting for freedom.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, close to where the presidential couple are spending the year-end vacation with their daughters.

Obama told troops that even after leaving the office in January, he would continue visiting the base “for many years to come.”

"I understand that I still have a little rank as ex-president," he said to laughs. "So I still get to use the gym on the base, and of course, the golf course."

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