I’ll still use ‘ex-president rank’ for privileges after White House – Obama

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Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama says he will still be entitled to use the rank of “ex-President” to enjoy some privileges after he leaves the White House on Jan. 20, 2017.

Obama made the remarks in his usual humour at a dinner for Service members of the U.S. military on Tuesday, according to readout made available to the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York by the White House.

“So thank you so much for everything that you’ve done. I hope you guys have had a wonderful Christmas.

“And we look forward to seeing you for many years to come, because I understand that I still have a little bit of rank as ex-President. So I still get to use the gym on base and, of course, the golf course,” he said.

He also said that it was a privilege for him to have served as their Commander-in-Chief. “So I just want all of you to know that it has been the privilege of my life to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.

“I know Michelle feels the same way when it comes to being able to stand alongside our military families and our veterans. And although this will be my last time addressing you as President.

“I want you to know that, as a citizen, my gratitude will remain and our commitment to standing by you every step of the way – that won’t stop.”

He thanked them “for the unbelievable service that you have rendered our country”.

Obama said the event was one of the Obamas’ favourite things to do, adding “it’s one of those circumstances where we get a chance to not just say thank you to our incredible men and women in uniform”.

According to him, the First Lady Michelle Obama and the wife of the Vice President Jill Biden have worked so diligently to tell the rest of the country, not only do our troops serve, but their families serve alongside them.

“Yesterday, I called – as I do every Christmas – some of our folks that are stationed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and some in some very remote spots.

“Some of them who, as we speak, are carrying out missions to defeat ISIL, carrying out missions to protect us from all manner of threat.

“And just to remind them that, as tough as it is to be deployed, the people here in America, back home, understand that every single day that you’re serving, you’re fighting for our freedom.

“And you are fighting to keep us safe and fighting to maintain our way of life,” he said.

The outgoing president said it was impossible for the U.S. and Americans to fully repay what they were doing and the sacrifices that they made.

“But at least it’s important to hear from us that what you do matters, and that we know about it, and that we’re grateful.

“And that we’ll stay grateful even when many of you end up being out of uniform and are veterans, and that we make sure that we’re serving you as well you served us.”

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