Obama, First Lady thank U.S. troops in Christmas address

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, December 24, 2011 8:59 EDT
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President, Mrs. Obama on White House lawn via AFP
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US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday thanked US troops and their families for their sacrifice and service to the country as they wished all Americans happy Christmas holidays.

“Our troops are coming home. And across America, military families are being reunited,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

He asked Americans to give thanks to these men and women in uniform for their service.

“And let’s say a prayer for all our troops standing post all over the world, especially our brave men and women in Afghanistan who are serving, even as we speak, in harm’s way to protect the freedoms and security we hold dear,” Obama added.

The first lady reminded listeners that Christmas was a time to give thanks for the gifts that bless Americans every single day.

“Our veterans, troops, and military families sacrifice so much for us,” Michelle Obama said. “So this holiday season, let’s make sure that all of them know just how much we appreciate everything they do.”

US forces completed their withdrawal from Iraq this past week, formally marking the end of their mission in that country.

The withdrawal ended a war that left tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,500 American soldiers dead, as well as tens of thousands wounded and 1.75 million Iraqis displaced.

Obama has called the end of the war in Iraq “an extraordinary achievement” that was made possible by the hard work and sacrifice of US troops, arguing that in was time the nation to address the needs of these veterans.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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