"It is wonderful to be surrounded by some of the very best and bravest Americans," Obama said. "Your courage, your grace and your patriotism inspire us all."
Obama told the crowd that there is "no greater honor or responsibility than serving as your commander in chief."
Obama then introduced members of the military from Illinois stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
After thanking them, Obama took time for lighter banter, polling the members of the military about whether they were Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox baseball fans.
"Terrible!" quipped Obama, known to be a huge White Sox fan, as most said they were Cubs fans.
Then Obama introduced his wife, who took a moment to emerge from backstage.
"I may have been stood up," he joked, before she came out for their next dance.
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