Obama notes end of Afghanistan War in Christmas address

President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaCriticism of Melania Trump shows a lot about the #MeToo movement Obama tells Letterman of showing off his 'dad moves' in front of Prince Smithsonian to unveil Obamas' portraits next month MORE are using their Christmas address to give thanks to U.S. troops and their families.

In the president’s weekly address issued on Christmas Eve, Obama said the holiday was a time to step back and reflect on the sacrifices of military families.

“We’re able to gather with family and friends because our troops are willing to hug theirs goodbye and step forward to serve.  After a long day, we can come home because they’re willing to leave their families and deploy.  We can celebrate the holidays because they’re willing to miss their own,” Obama said.

Obama’s address was basically free from politics, except for a comment about how the combat mission in Afghanistan would soon be over.

Obama, who hopes to have all troops removed from Afghanistan at the end of his presidency, said that when the combat mission ends, “our longest war will come to a responsible end.”

The White House earlier this month in a blog post noted that there were 180,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan when Obama took office, but there will be fewer than 15,000 at year’s end.

Michelle Obama said she and the president hoped the holiday season would be a chance “to bridge our differences and lift up our families, friends and neighbors.”