CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush's Thanksgiving Day agenda was a lot like that of most Americans: time with the family, plenty of turkey and dressing, maybe a nap in front of the Dallas-Denver football game.
But before that, he took time out in the morning to call 10 members of the U.S. armed services, a spokeswoman said, including personnel from the Coast Guard, Army, Navy and Air Force.
Spokeswoman Dana Perino said those called from the president's Texas ranch included a service member in Afghanistan, several in Iraq and one on a ship at sea.
She said the president "wished them all a 'Happy Thanksgiving' and thanked them behalf of the American people" and that he "told them they were all patriots and asked them to pass along his wishes to their fellow service members."
Also, Bush took a bike ride with his chief of staff, Andy Card, she said.
Bush and his wife, Laura, are spending six days here. Twin daughters Barbara and Jenna — who are celebrating their 24th birthday Friday — rode with them Tuesday on Air Force One.
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, were also on the guest list for Thursday's dinner, along with Laura Bush's mother, Jenna Welch.
Besides the roasted free-range turkey and fresh-milled cornbread dressing, the menu included pan gravy, chipotle maple whipped sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus and red peppers, green beans supreme, fruit ambrosia, fresh yeast rolls and orange cranberry relish. Dessert was two kinds of pie — Texas pecan and pumpkin.
The free-range turkey may have been the most distinctive item on the Bush Thanksgiving table. Most turkeys sold in the United States are raised indoors, while free-range birds are allowed to roam outside.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals still doesn't approve of free-range turkeys, preferring that people instead adopt vegetarian lifestyles. But Bush did win rare praise from PETA on Tuesday when he spared two turkeys from becoming dinner, sending them to be honorary grand marshals at Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day Parade.