WASHINGTON – Ten American service members stationed overseas received Christmas Eve phone calls from President Bush on Monday.
"He said he couldn't thank them enough for their contribution to their country, hopes they are in high spirits, and that they are serving a cause that is very noble," White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters.
"He said, `I know that you miss your family,' " Perino said.
The president told them he knew it is difficult for their children to grow up as their parents are serving away from home, but said they would later appreciate the sacrifices for their country.
Bush, who made the calls from Camp David, asked the service members to pass on the message: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Those who received the phone calls were three members of the Army soldiers, two members of the Navy, two Marines, and one member of the Coast Guard. They are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and onboard in the Persian Gulf.
Bush also made calls to the troops last Christmas Eve.
Bush is spending Christmas at Camp David with first lady Laura Bush, their daugthers — Jenna and Barbara — and Laura Bush's mother, Jenna Welch. Later this week the president will head to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, were he will spend New Years.
The White House released the list of the following service members who received calls from the president:
— Staff Sgt. Anthony R. Lewis, U.S. Army. Deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan, with the 428th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
— Sgt. Cleveland W. Upton, U.S. Army. Deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, with the Attack Company, 1-28 Infantry, 4th Brigade, Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
— Spec. Joseph E. Sizemore, U.S. Army. Deployed in Baghdad, Iraq, with Multi-National Corps, C-3 Tactical Operations.
— Sgt. Joseph K. Jenkins, U.S. Marine Corps. Deployed in Al Anbar, Iraq, with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29.
— Cpl. Orlando P. Anaya, U.S. Marine Corps. Deployed in Al Asad Airbase, Iraq, with the Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Forward.
— Personnel Spec. 1st Class Claudine A. Toni Gayle, U.S. Navy. Deployed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in the Persian Gulf with Carrier Air Wing Three Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia
— Construction Electrician 1st Class Kelly Mumm, U.S. Navy. Deployed in Fallujah, Iraq, with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Fifteen, Belton, Missouri.
— Senior Airman LaTishia B. Tishia Hall, U.S. Air Force. Deployed at Balad Air Base, Iraq.
— Airman 1st Class Rachael R. Whitlow, U.S. Air Force. Deployed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, with 22nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
— Boatswain Mate 1st Class Michael W. Tapp, U.S. Coast Guard. Deployed with the USCGC RUSH (WHEC-723) on patrol in the Bering Sea.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.