President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama thanked U.S. troops for their service and emphasized serving others in their annual Christmas greeting, released Wednesday.

The president also noted the reduced troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan when he said “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. 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.”

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