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Video: Melania Trump Visits Troops at Military Bases, and Aboard Aircraft Carrier USS George H.W. Bush

First lady Melania Trump paid a visit to troops at two military bases and took a tour of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier on Wednesday, thanking troops for their service and wishing them a "Merry Christmas" ahead of the holidays.

Speaking to troops at Joint Base Langley–Eustis in Virginia, the first lady thanked service members for "answering the call of duty" and also gave thanks to their families. 

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Noting that many of the "airmen and soldiers" at the Air Force base had "recently returned home from deployment," Melania Trump said: "I'm honored to be able to say welcome home and thank you for answering the call of duty." 

"I have said this before, but it's worth repeating," she said. "We know that we are free because you are brave and I speak on behalf of my husband when I tell you we are forever grateful for your service." 

She also took a moment to recognize the families of those who serve, saying: "We know that you often endure time apart, which also comes with a degree of uncertainty and some of you are here today while your loved ones are far away.

"Frequent moves and deployments can be hard and that kind of lifestyle requires its own kind of incredible courage," the first lady said. "Please know that your sacrifices do not go unnoticed or unappreciated and that the president and I thank you for all that you do." 

The first lady also paid homage to the late President George H.W. Bush, who died on November 30, saying that her time on the USS George H.W. Bush would "not only allow me to visit with more members of our military, but it will be very meaningful after the recent passing of President Bush. We continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers."

The first lady later posted video and photos to Twitter of her visit to the troops and tour of the USS George H.W. Bush, calling it an "incredible day."

Melania Trump also took time during the trip to air her grievances against what she called "opportunists," whom she accused of "using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to performers, book writers," during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Asked what the hardest thing she has had to deal with since becoming first lady, she said it was having to deal with such "opportunists." After Hannity asked whether the experiences had "hurt" her, the first lady said: "It doesn't hurt. The problem is they're writing the history, and it's not correct. They like to focus on the gossip, and I would like to…focus on the substance, and what we do, not just about nonsense." 

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