Defense Secretary Austin makes personal holidays calls to deployed US military service members

While Americans pack for a busy weekend of holiday plans, thousands of military service members continue to protect the United States at duty stations around the world.

On Thursday and Friday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks made personal phone calls to thank those who are serving abroad during the Christmas season, according to a press release from the Department of Defense.

The military’s top brass thanked the men and women for their service and sacrifice at home and abroad, especially during the season.

Austin and Hicks also acknowledge the “immense sacrifice” that members of the military and their families make throughout the holidays.

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According to the press release, Secretary Austin spoke with service members from the following units:

According to the press release, Deputy Secretary Hicks also spoke with service members from the following units:

Throughout his term, President Biden along with First Lady Jill Biden, have marked major holidays by taking time to call members of all six branches of the military.

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At Thanksgiving, President Biden shared on X that they spoke to members of the military, calling them “the best of us.”

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“This Thanksgiving, Jill and I spoke with members of our Armed Forces to offer our sincere gratitude for the sacrifices they make every day to protect our freedom,” the president wrote in an X post. “They’re the best of us. “

The president and first lady on Friday also carried on another tradition with their third annual visit to Children’s National Hospital.

The first lady read Clement Clarke Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” before the Bidens chatted with children and their parents.

“Jill and I spent time here — the same as you parents did — with our children, because of their circumstances,” Biden said. “You know that old expression, ‘where there’s life there’s hope.’ Hopefully you kids come back when you’re out of the hospital and hang out with other kids, so you know what it’s like.”

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