On Christmas Day, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dropped in on servicemembers in Kaneohe, Hawaii to thank our troops for their "extraordinary service on behalf of our country."
Tomorrow, we will mark an important milestone in our country's history: After more than 13 years of war, our combat mission in Afghanistan is coming to a responsible end. President Obama thanked our armed forces for making that possible:
Because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the American armed forces, Afghanistan has a chance to rebuild its own country. We are safer, it's not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again.
While we still have many difficult missions ahead -- in Iraq, in West Africa on the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak, and elsewhere -- the President noted how the world is a better place thanks to the sacrifice of our military members and their families:
The world is better, it's safer, it's more peaceful, it's more prosperous, and our homeland is protected because of you and because of the sacrifices you make every day.
So, on a day where we celebrate the Prince of Peace, and on a day where we count our blessings, one of the greatest blessings that we have is the extraordinary dedication, service, and sacrifice that all of you make.