CAMP DAVID, Md. – President Bush called 10 members of the armed forces from California to Iraq Thursday to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and thank them for their service.
The president spoke with two members each from the Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy, said White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo. He asked them to send greetings to their parents.
The calls went to service members stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Qatar, Alaska, and California.
The service members who spoke with the president:
—Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Jones, Army, deployed to Taji, Iraq. Jones is a member of the 7-10 Cavalry Squadron, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. As a cavalry scout platoon sergeant, he conducts daily combat patrols, oversees a 32-man platoon and maintains patrol vehicles.
—Spc. Joseph Casey, Army, deployed to Kamdesh village, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, a member of the 71st Cavalry Squadron, 10th Mountain Division. As a gunner and scout, he maintains $1 million worth of equipment, including advanced optics grenade launchers.
—Sgt. Steven Cariotis, Marine Corps Reserve, a member of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, San Antonio Texas. He is deployed to Iraq as a radio operator, reconnaissance Marine, and the assistant team leader of Charlie Company.
—Cpl. Steven Lanham Jr., Marine, a member of the 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division, in Okinawa, Japan. As a team leader for the 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, he is responsible for scouting and patrolling, and is skilled in assault weaponry, breaching demolitions, close quarter battle, and raid techniques. He is also qualified as a combatant diver.
—Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wood, Navy, based in Atsugi, Japan, serving at the U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Branch Health Clinic. She recently served as Convoy Commander and coordinated more than 80 ground convoys and 20 air MedEvac missions.
—Petty Officer 2nd Class Eugenia C. Ortiz-Cooper, Navy, deployed with the Army at Camp as Sayliyah, Qatar. She serves as an operator for Joint Tactical Ground Station which provides near real-time warning of Theater Ballistic Missile launches and other tactical events. She is based permanently at Naval Network Space Operations Command, Detachment Echo, Stuttgart, Germany.
—Master Sgt. Stonnie Martin, Air Force, serves in the 354th Contracting Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and is deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq. Before his tour in Iraq, he served as Flight Chief of the 354th Contracting Squadron Plans and Programs Flight, where he was responsible for more than $10 million annually in government purchases.
Senior Airman Andrew Bickham, Air force, serves in the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, but is deployed to Iraq. As an MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter Aerial Gunner, he operates the .50 caliber machine gun, and supports special operations with night, low-level, adverse weather infiltration, resupply, exfiltration, and close air support using night vision goggles.
—Petty Officer 2nd Class Derby Flory, Coast Guard, serves aboard the Cutter Morgenthau in its home port of Alameda, Calif. As a qualified Combat Information Center Watch Supervisor, he plays a key role in counter-drug and search-and-rescue missions.
—Seaman Fredrick DeJuan Lamar, Coast Guard, based on the Cutter Munro in its home port of Alameda, Calif. As a member of the weapons division his duties include: helmsman, lowering the ships small boats, and .50 caliber gunner. He was nominated as Sailor of the Quarter for August-October 2006.
Bush was celebrating Thanksgiving at the Camp David presidential retreat with a small gathering of family and friends.
The White House said guests of the president and his wife, Laura, included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former personal assistant Blake Gottesman and his parents.
On the first family's menu was free-range roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, zucchini gratin, whipped maple sweet potatoes, basil chive red potato mash and pumpkin pie.
Bush planned to return from the Maryland mountains to Washington on Saturday, the 25th birthday of his twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna Bush.
The president was to depart Washington on Monday for a NATO summit in Latvia before flying on to Jordan for a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.