HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling on Americans to find ways to support U.S. troops during the holiday season as he and his wife delivered their own thanks personally.

Obama capped a quiet Christmas Saturday with an unannounced visit to a Marine base. The president and Michelle Obama spent more than an hour shaking hands and hugging service members who had arrived for Christmas dinner at the mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. It’s the third year in a row the Obamas have visited the base on Christmas.

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With U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and other outposts around the world, the Obamas also used the president’s weekly radio and Internet address to encourage Americans to remind troops that, in the president’s words, “America will forever be here for them, just as they’ve been there for us.”

Michelle Obama urged the public to reach out through their schools and churches, or volunteer with organizations that support military families. She says, “Anybody can send a care package or pre-paid calling card to the front lines” or simply say “thank you.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.