From pool reports filed Christmas day by the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker, who was covering President Obama and Michelle Obama‘s visit to a Marine Corps base in Hawaii:
Obama said that he knows “a lot of our friends and comrades” are raising their families here while others are serving in Afghanistan and other places. Obama said he called 10 service members who were in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Obama said, “It was just a sampling of the incredible sacrificed a that all of you and your families make every single day. Michelle and I know that we would not enjoy the freedoms we do if it weren’t for the incredible dedication and professionalism and work that you do. The least we can do is just let you all know we’re grateful to you.” …
He decided to take individual pictures with all of the roughly 580 service members and their families.