President Bush wishes to U.S. service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and on ship a happy Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. (ERIC DRAPER / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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CAMP DAVID, Md. — President Bush called several service members Thursday to extend best wishes and say it was "the least I can do."
Three of those receiving holiday greetings are in the Army, two are Marines, three are in the Air Force, two serve in the Coast Guard and two in the Navy. The troops called are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and aboard ship, said White House press secretary Dana Perino.
"He called to wish the members of the military and their families and the troops that they are serving with a happy Thanksgiving. He said, ‘I can't tell you how impressed I am by the courage and compassion of our troops.' He thanked them for their service," Perino said. "He said how proud he is of them."
The president asked for God's blessings on the members of the military, Perino said. He said he was thankful to be commander in chief of the finest military ever assembled and told them, "calling you is the least I can do because I admire the military so much."
The service members called, their deployments, home towns and assignments:
* Army Sgt. 1st Class Amy Adams in Iraq, Toronto, Ohio, who tracks casualties for six brigades.
* Army Staff Sgt. William Cannon in Iraq, Knoxville, Ill., who supervises howitzer training.
* Army Sgt. Frank Gervascio in Iraq, St. Louis, in charge of emergency and routine care in his battalion's aid station.
* Marine Sgt. Thomas Kelley in Iraq, who ensures that the gear is ready for tactical movement. His hometown is not available.
* Navy Seaman William Jamieson II, New York City, on the guided-missile cruiser Vicksburg deployed to the Persian Gulf/North Arabia Sea, and responsible for identification of aircraft flying in range of coalition warships.
* Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cimarron Reeves in Iraq, who does post-blast analysis that is vital to counter Improvised Explosive Devices. His hometown is not available.
* Air Force Airman 1st Class Chris Steven Ericksen in Afghanistan, who issues fuel to military aircraft. His hometown is not available.
* Marine Sgt. Santos Alvarado in Iraq, Los Angeles, who maintains his battalion's gear and equipment and manages its budget.
* Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Melanie Mosley in Iraq, Council Bluffs, Iowa, a section leader of a Marine guard force for detainees. White House officials said Mosley's mother, Kathy Kenter, lives in Pine Bluff, Ark.
* Air Force Staff Sgt. Neil Lockart in Iraq, Kamiah, Idaho, leader of a team that protects military aircraft, personnel and equipment.
* Coast Guard Operational Spec. 2nd Class Dustin Bingham, Lampasas, Texas, on the cutter Morgenthau in the eastern Pacific, a watch supervisor who teaches shipmates in law enforcement skills.
* Coast Guard Spec. 2nd Class Michael Smith in the Persian Gulf, Houston, who drafts classified messages coordinating ship movements and fueling of Coast Guard and Navy patrol craft.
The president was celebrating the holiday at Camp David with his wife, Laura, and their twin daughters, who have a birthday this weekend. Also present were daughter Jenna's husband-to-be Henry Hager, some of the president's brothers and sisters with their families, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Bush visited troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving after the U.S. invasion in 2003.
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