HONOLULU — President Barack Obama capped a quiet Christmas Saturday with a surprise visit to a Marine base to thank US troops for the sacrifices they've made, including being away from their families at the holidays.
The president, along with his wife, Michelle Obama, spent more than half an hour shaking hands and hugging service members who had arrived for Christmas dinner at the mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The president and first lady visited troops at the same base last Christmas.
With US troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and other outposts around the world, the Obamas also used the president's weekly radio and Internet address to encourage Americans to find ways to support service members during the holiday season.
"Let's all remind them this holiday season that we're thinking of them, and that America will forever be here for them, just as they've been there for us," the president said.