First lady Michelle Obama thanks US soldiers in Germany
US first lady Michelle Obama thanked US military families abroad Thursday for the sacrifices they make, telling a group in Ramstein, Germany she was their voice in the White House, DPA reported.
Marking Veterans' Day, an annual US holiday honouring former military personnel, she visited US bases in the west of Germany without her husband Barack Obama, who was in Seoul, South Korea for a G20 summit.
"You are ambassadors," she told several hundred military personnel and dependents at Ramstein, where the US Air Force runs a huge base. The families had made great sacrifices moving abroad, she noted.
Obama also visited wounded soldiers in the nearby US military hospital at Landstuhl. An estimated 50,000 US nationals live in the area, on and off base. Defence realignments in recent years have reduced the US military presence in Germany.
At Ramstein, Obama helped distribute steak at a military canteen. Most had not known of her planned visit, which was kept secret in advance, a military spokesman said. She had earlier accompanied the president to India and Indonesia.