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President Joe Biden marked his first Christmas in office by making calls to military service members stationed around the world, offering them holiday wishes and gratitude for their service and sacrifice for the nation.

Joined by First Lady Jill Biden, and their new puppy, Commander, the president on Saturday spoke via video to service members representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard, stationed at bases in Qatar, Romania, Bahrain.

‘As your commander in chief, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, thank you, thank you,’ he told the service members. ‘We’re grateful for your courage, your sacrifice, not only your sacrifice but your family’s sacrifice.’

Speaking from a studio set up at the White House, Biden told them they’re ‘the solid steel spine of the nation,’ and emphasized the ‘truly sacred obligation’ the nation has to care for soldiers and their families.

The Bidens cited their experience as a military family as to why they were especially grateful for the troops’ service.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, with their new dog Commander, speak virtually with military service members to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, with their new dog Commander, speak virtually with military service members to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, with their new dog Commander, speak virtually with military service members to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas

Speaking from a studio set up at the White House, Biden told them they're 'the solid steel spine of the nation,' and emphasized the 'truly sacred obligation' the nation has to care for soldiers and their families

Speaking from a studio set up at the White House, Biden told them they're 'the solid steel spine of the nation,' and emphasized the 'truly sacred obligation' the nation has to care for soldiers and their families

Speaking from a studio set up at the White House, Biden told them they’re ‘the solid steel spine of the nation,’ and emphasized the ‘truly sacred obligation’ the nation has to care for soldiers and their families

Jill expressed her gratefulness and her family's thanks 'as a military family' as her father and son both served

Jill expressed her gratefulness and her family's thanks 'as a military family' as her father and son both served

Jill expressed her gratefulness and her family’s thanks ‘as a military family’ as her father and son both served

‘We know what it’s like to have you, our loved ones serving and being away during the holidays,’ First Lady Jill said. ‘I’m sorry you have to be away, we know what it’s like for your families to have that empty seat at the table.’ 

Jill spoke about her father, who served in the Navy in World War II, but more specifically about the Bidens’ late son Beau, who was deployed to Iraq for a year.

‘We certainly know, as a family, what your families are feeling today. That’s why Joe and I will continue forever and ever to support you in anyway we can, but most of all serve your families.’

Commander, the 16-week old German Shepherd, was so lively on the couch with the Bidens, the president joke he thought of ‘sending him over.’ 

The stream then transitioned to the Bidens speaking live to troops overseas, but the stream cut off as the White House told DailyMail.com those conversations were meant to be private.  

As the coronavirus pandemic surges anew, driven by the highly infectious omicron variant, the Bidens sought with their public appearances and statements to offer a sense of unity and normalcy in an otherwise challenging season for many.

In a Christmas statement, the Bidens praised the ‘enormous courage, character, resilience, and resolve’ of the American people in the face of the pandemic, and offered prayers that the nation would find ‘light in the darkness’ during a difficult season.

‘During this season of joy, we are inspired by the countless Americans who are a reminder that the things we hold sacred unite us and transcend distance, time, and even the constraints of a pandemic,’ the Bidens said in their statement.

And the call to soldiers was just the latest Christmas tradition the two participated in, after spending Christmas eve spreading holiday cheer around Washington. On Friday morning, they visited Children’s National Hospital to offer holiday greetings to young patients and their families. The president showed off photos of their new puppy and Jill read a children’s book to patients.

Later, the two stopped by a Jill Biden-themed Christmas tree in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The president hung the 2021 White House Christmas ornament amid branches decked out with photos of his wife’s face, apples and small chalkboards, in homage to her teaching career.

Both answered calls to the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa-tracking service, speaking to parents and children about their Christmas wish-lists.

This led to the surreal moment when a parent told President Biden ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ during the event.

The first couple hosted kids and their parents in the South Court Auditorium and talked to people virtually.  

A dad named Jared beaming in from Oregon said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden’ – after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus.  

Reporters in the room said that Biden seemed unphased. ‘Let’s Go Brandon, I agree,’ the president said in response.

The clip of the exchange got immediate reaction online, with conservative blogger Erick Erickson commenting: ‘Confession: I find it in poor taste to tell the President of the United States “Let’s go Brandon” when the man just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas. Good manners should still matter.’ 

The first lady’s spokesman Michael LaRosa answered ‘Yep.’ to Erickson’s tweet. 

‘I think the let’s go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you’re just a d**k. Merry Christmas!’ said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama.  

A dad told President Joe Biden (right) 'Let's Go Brandon!' during the annual NORAD Santa-tracking call alongside First Lady Jill Biden (left). Biden reportedly didn't react to the right-wing smear

A dad told President Joe Biden (right) 'Let's Go Brandon!' during the annual NORAD Santa-tracking call alongside First Lady Jill Biden (left). Biden reportedly didn't react to the right-wing smear

A dad told President Joe Biden (right) ‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ during the annual NORAD Santa-tracking call alongside First Lady Jill Biden (left). Biden reportedly didn’t react to the right-wing smear 

A dad named Jared beaming in from Oregon said 'Merry Christmas' and 'Let's Go Brandon' - code on the right for 'f**k Joe Biden' - after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus

A dad named Jared beaming in from Oregon said 'Merry Christmas' and 'Let's Go Brandon' - code on the right for 'f**k Joe Biden' - after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus

A dad named Jared beaming in from Oregon said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden’ – after his kids told the president what they wanted from Santa Claus

The first lady's spokesman Michael LaRosa answered 'Yep.' after conservative blogger Erick Erickson said the 'Let's Go Brandon' utterance was in 'poor taste,' as the internet swifly reacted to the dad's dig

The first lady's spokesman Michael LaRosa answered 'Yep.' after conservative blogger Erick Erickson said the 'Let's Go Brandon' utterance was in 'poor taste,' as the internet swifly reacted to the dad's dig

The first lady’s spokesman Michael LaRosa answered ‘Yep.’ after conservative blogger Erick Erickson said the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ utterance was in ‘poor taste,’ as the internet swifly reacted to the dad’s dig

'I think the let's go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you're just a d**k. Merry Christmas!' said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama

'I think the let's go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you're just a d**k. Merry Christmas!' said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama

‘I think the let’s go Brandon stuff is harmless and funny, but if you tell someone to go f**k themselves when they are being nice to your kid, you’re just a d**k. Merry Christmas!’ said Tommy Vietor, a former aide to President Barack Obama

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) visited the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. to mark Christmas Eve

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) visited the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. to mark Christmas Eve

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) visited the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. to mark Christmas Eve 

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) stand with Dito Sevilla (center), the bar manager at Floriana restaurant, which put up a Biden-themed Christmas tree on 17th Street N.W. in D.C.

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) stand with Dito Sevilla (center), the bar manager at Floriana restaurant, which put up a Biden-themed Christmas tree on 17th Street N.W. in D.C.

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) stand with Dito Sevilla (center), the bar manager at Floriana restaurant, which put up a Biden-themed Christmas tree on 17th Street N.W. in D.C. 

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) arrive at the Children's National Hospital Friday in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) arrive at the Children's National Hospital Friday in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) arrive at the Children’s National Hospital Friday in Washington, D.C. 

The first lady reads the book Olaf's Night Before Christmas to patients at the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., bringing along President Joe Biden as a surprise guest

The first lady reads the book Olaf's Night Before Christmas to patients at the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., bringing along President Joe Biden as a surprise guest

The first lady reads the book Olaf’s Night Before Christmas to patients at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., bringing along President Joe Biden as a surprise guest 

President Joe Biden (left) speaks with a young patient during Friday's surprise visit to the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden (left) speaks with a young patient during Friday's surprise visit to the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden (left) speaks with a young patient during Friday’s surprise visit to the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jill Biden read Olaf's Night Before Christmas , starring the popular Frozen character to the hospital's patients

First Lady Jill Biden read Olaf's Night Before Christmas , starring the popular Frozen character to the hospital's patients

First Lady Jill Biden read Olaf’s Night Before Christmas , starring the popular Frozen character to the hospital’s patients 

President Joe Biden (left) shared a book with a child (right) at the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden (left) shared a book with a child (right) at the Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden (left) shared a book with a child (right) at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. 

Commander Biden was spotted on the South Lawn Friday morning, at the hospital the president showed the kids pictures of the new puppy and said he might visit the hospital come summer

Commander Biden was spotted on the South Lawn Friday morning, at the hospital the president showed the kids pictures of the new puppy and said he might visit the hospital come summer

Commander Biden was spotted on the South Lawn Friday morning, at the hospital the president showed the kids pictures of the new puppy and said he might visit the hospital come summer 

Source: dailymail

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