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Obama to Marines: 'We Love You'

8:19 AM, Dec 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Obama, who is vacationing with his family in Hawaii, visited the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay to wish everyone there a merry Christmas.

"First of all, we want to say Merry Christmas to everybody," Obama said, with his wife Michelle at his side. "This looks like it was a nice rather than naughty crowd so I’m sure Santa treated you well."

On behalf of Michelle and myself and our whole family -- we do this every year. This is where I was born, and so we come back for the holidays. But 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.

Obviously, the greatest honor I have as President is being Commander-in-Chief. And the reason it’s an honor is because not only do we have the finest military in the world but we also have the finest fighting men and women in the world. And so many of you make sacrifices day in, day out on behalf of our freedom, on behalf of our security. ...

So I’m not going to make a long speech. Obviously, we’re still in a wartime footing. There are still folks, as we speak, who are overseas, especially in Afghanistan, risking their lives each and every day. 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. 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.

The commander in chief added, "And so we want to say thank you, we love you."

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