President, Troops Celebrate Thanksgiving

With Flag Football and Butter Sculptures, Marines Celebrate Thanksgiving

Fallujah, Iraq (AP) -- About 20,000 Marines across Iraq's Anbar Province quickly celebrated Thanksgiving before returning to work.

A Deputy Marine Commander held a church service at Camp Fallujah this morning.

Some Marines took to fields of sand for a flag football tournament. And the base planned to show NFL games live.

Dinner in the camp's two mess halls included roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, egg nog and a variety of pies.

But some couldn't enjoy the festive meal. Turkey was delivered to some Marines at military outposts, but others ate the same rations served on an normal day.

The US Navy Secretary visited the camp and said morale there "seems very good." he says, while some have expressed thoughts of home, they also stated their commitment to their mission.

White House: First Family Hosting Holiday Dinner At Camp David

White House (AP) -- The White House says president bush and his family are planning a quiet thanksgiving at the Camp David retreat in Maryland.

Guests will include Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice and former personal assistant Blake Gottesman and his parents.

The menu has free-range roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, zucchini, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

The President leaves Monday for a NATO summit in Latvia before flying on to Jordan for a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

President Rings Up Some Of The Troops

Washington (AP) -- It's not as good as going home. But for some American soldiers stationed in Iraq and other places, a phone call from the Commander-In-Chief isn't a bad way to pass Thanksgiving Day.

President Bush made a series of calls today to wish service men and women a happy holiday and to give thanks for their service to the nation.

Among those who found the President on the other end of the line today was a Marine serving as a radio operator in Iraq, and an Army Specialist in Afghanistan.

Rumsfeld Offers Thanks To Troops

Undated (AP) -- Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has thanked US troops for their service and sacrifice in a videotaped Thanksgiving day message.

Rumsfeld says Americans are praying for them and offering heartfelt thanks.

He says the US is fortunate to have "men and women willing to step forward to defend freedom."

Military Forces Get Heroes' Welcome at Dallas Airport

Dallas (AP) -- There had to be something special about one plane that pulled into Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on one of the year's busiest travel days.

Two fire trucks greeted the plane by spraying a welcome fountain over it, and the Rockettes were on the tarmac.

The plane was carrying more than 100 soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The terminal was lined with cheering family and friends, who applauded the troops as they filed past with big smiles on their faces.

One soldier's mom says she's excited about a holiday reunion, since she hadn't seen her son in more than a year.

A Marine said it was bittersweet, saying he appreciated the welcome, but also wishes his father got the same kind of reception when he returned from Vietnam decades ago.

Video: For U.S. Troops, a Thanksgiving Celebration

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.