Trump thanks troops, praises military progress: 'Very, very special people'


Just before leaving Washington, the president pardoned his first Thanksgiving turkeys, Drumstick and Wishbone.

The meal marks a departure from the five-course meal President Donald Trump and family enjoyed a year ago - complete with an 18-dish main course and a choice of eight desserts.

"Today we give thanks for all the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who have gone before us", he said.

In 2003, President Bush surprised the world when he made a secret trip to Baghdad to visit troops at the height of the Iraq War, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country.

In other years, Bush and Obama both spent time during their holiday to call troops serving overseas - usually at least one or two from every military branch.

The call was with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, the 2nd Marine Raider Batallion in Iraq, the 5th Fleet aboard the USS Monterey, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Turkey and the Coast Guard at the Kuwait Navy Base.

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The Thanksgiving message was delivered by Trump from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over an internet connection to military men and women stationed near Kabul.

Trump has also made trips to his golf courses in Jupiter and West Palm Beach, FL, as well as his hotels in both D.C. and Hawaii - and of course, the eponymous Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

However, one of the most widely recognized interpretations of the USA holiday, is based on the narrative of how early European settlers-many of them fleeing their home countries following religious persecution or otherwise looking for a new and better life-were nurtured from the struggles of living in a harsh new land by the Indigenous people already living on the continent when they arrived.

"Incredible people, you've done an incredible job", Trump said.
"We're really winning", he added.

While Mar-a-Lago is open to members only, those finding themselves in Palm Beach for the holiday can opt for the club's main rival as an alternative, The Breakers, which offers a Thanksgiving Day buffet for $150 a person.

Earlier on Twitter, Mr Trump boasted about his achievements so far in the White House.