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Simple Message: Speaking to military personnel and their families at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, where he stopped over Nov. 12 on his way to Asia, President Obama said he had to take the opportunity to "deliver a simple message—a message of thanks to you and your families." In his remarks, Obama talked about their "sense of service" and understanding that "the blessings we cherish as Americans are not gifts that we take for granted—they are freedoms that are earned." He vowed to ensure "you can meet the missions we ask of you" and that he would "never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests." He then said, "I also make you this promise: I will not risk your lives unless it is necessary to America's vital interest."