(CNN) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama celebrated Christmas in the President’s weekly address Wednesday, taking time in particular to thank the men and women of the U.S. military.
“For many of our troops and newest veterans, this might be the first time in years that they’ve been with their families on Christmas,” the President said. “In fact, with the Iraq war over and the transition in Afghanistan, fewer of our men and women in uniform are deployed in harm’s way than at any time in the last decade.”
The Obamas wished everyone happy holidays and called on Americans to help others, both the troops and their neighbors.
“It’s our turn to step up and show our gratitude for the military families who have given us so much,” Michelle Obama said.
“Again and again, we have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve gotten as folks from across the country have found new ways to give back to these families through their schools, businesses, and houses of worship.”
Helping others, the President said, “is a chance to celebrate the birth of Christ and live out what he taught us – to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to feed the hungry and look after the sick; to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper,” Obama said.
“For all of us as Americans, regardless of our faith, those are values that can drive us to be better parents and friends, better neighbors and better citizens.”