December 26, 2011 in Nation/World

Vacationing Obamas visit military

First family spending holiday in Hawaii
Julie Pace Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama gets a face full of fingers from Cooper Wall Wagner, 8 months, as he poses for a photo with Cooper and his parents, Capt. Greg and Meredith Wagner at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
(Full-size photo)

HONOLULU – President Barack Obama blended his roles as a father and commander-in-chief this Christmas, exchanging presents and singing carols with his family, then greeting U.S. service members stationed at a Marine base in Hawaii.

The president and his family woke up early Sunday to open gifts, the White House said, then had breakfast and sang Christmas carols at the house they rent near Honolulu.

Obama made two trips on Christmas to nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii, first to attend church services at the base chapel. After spending a few hours at their rental home, the president and Michelle Obama returned to the base to visit with several hundred service members and their families, as they have done in past years.

Many of the service members stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii have deployed to Afghanistan, as well as Iraq, where the last American troops were withdrawn earlier this month.

Back in the Washington area, Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden spent Christmas visiting wounded service members and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Obama also called 10 service members stationed around the world – two from each branch of the military – on Christmas Eve. The White House said he thanked them for their service and the sacrifice of being away from their families at the holidays.

The Obamas are expected to return to Washington shortly after New Year’s Day.

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