Honolulu President-elect Barack Obama offered appreciation to the U.S. military on Christmas Eve in a recorded message and then asked children of uniformed troops if they had their wish lists ready during a visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii just northeast of Honolulu.
Earlier in the day, his aides released a recorded message of appreciation to the military “serving their second, third or even fourth tour of duty.”
“This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger,” Obama said in the message, set to air Saturday morning. “In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table; in distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child’s face as they open a gift back home.”
Obama, his family and his close friends are spending 12 days on the island of Oahu, staying at a rented $9 million beachfront estate.