(HONOLULU) — In what has become a holiday tradition, President Obama and the first lady spent Christmas afternoon greeting service members at the Marines Corps base near their Hawaiian vacation home.
Spreading some holiday cheer, the Obamas wished the troops and their families a Merry Christmas and thanked them for their service.
“This looks like it was a nice rather than naughty crowd so I’m sure Santa treated you well,” Obama joked as he walked into the mess hall at the base in Kaneohe Bay.
“One of our favorite things is always coming to the base on Christmas Day and having a chance just to meet you, those of you who have families here, and to say thank you for the extraordinary work and service that you guys do each and every day,” he said in his brief remarks.
Obama noted that “we’re still in a wartime footing” even as troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
“Some of you may have loved ones who are deployed there. Some of you may be about to be deployed there. And so we know that it’s not easy,” he said.
“But what we also want you to know is that you have the entire country behind you, and that all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary service that you guys provide,” Obama added.
After his remarks, the president and first lady posed for pictures with the troops.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dylan Byers, CNN
Lee Montana Newspapers
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN