When Vice President Joe Biden was asked what he is grateful for this Thanksgiving, he said he is “thankful” for his “personal relationship” with President Barack Obama.
TIME asked several political figures that question, but Biden’s answer was the strangest, considering he should probably be running for the hills saying, “Obama who?” if he plans to run for president in 2016.
However, thank Obama he did, and according to TIME, Biden said in part:
I’m thankful for my personal relationship with the President. I guess it’s a funny way to say it, but it is personal. There’s a real friendship between us, and I have a great deal of respect for him. The President has entrusted me with some significant responsibilities, and I’m proud that this year we’ve been able to guarantee middle-class families that their taxes won’t go up. Those things matter.
So we owe the American people. We’re thankful to Barack for having chosen us, but we owe the American people for the privilege of getting to know them as well as I think we do, and of being able to, God willing, provide some useful service. Happy Thanksgiving.
Michelle Obama told the magazine she was “feeling tremendously thankful for our military families:”
Like all Americans, I’ve always been awed by our men and women in uniform and inspired by the sacrifices they make for our country. But I had no idea about the sacrifices their families make too, and I kept asking myself, how is it possible that I – and so many other Americans – know so little about the challenges they face?
The answer is simple: military families don’t complain. They’re proud of their service and more than willing to make the sacrifices that come with it. And no matter how tough it gets, because they’re so strong and resilient, they somehow keep everything together. They succeed in their jobs, run their households and somehow even find time to serve their communities as well. In a recent survey, 81 percent of military family members reported volunteering in the past year, versus just 27 percent of the general population.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who registered to vote at 18-years-old as a Republican, but was serving a third term as a Democrat before she was horrifically shot in the head in Arizona in 2011, told TIME she was “most thankful for voters.”
“I say thank you to the voters. You hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. You are the reason why I believe we can solve the big problems. It’s a tough job—but I know you’re up to it.”
And while the political figures gave political answers, consider what Command Sergeant Major Ledford “JR” Stigall, who will be spending his Thanksgiving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan this year, told TIME:
Thanksgiving is a time that Americans usually spend with family and close friends, catching up with one another and reflecting on the things they are thankful for. At my house, my wife begins the annual ritual of decorating the Christmas tree and researching the latest recipe twists on American classics such as sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie. While I usually participate in this ritual, this year I will be conspicuously absent.
On this Thanksgiving, I ask that you remember that there are still Americans and NATO partner nations serving in harm’s way every day. Since my return to Afghanistan last June, we have lost 17 brave soldiers, but their sacrifice, while tragic, has not been in vain.
As you enjoy your day of Thanksgiving with your families and friends, please take a moment to remember those who have sacrificed so much to liberate the Afghan people from the tyranny of the Taliban and the fear of al-Qaeda terrorists. Take a moment and give thanks for the men and women who so bravely serve our nation and have acquitted themselves with honor, for they represent all that we hold dear. This Thanksgiving, I will be thinking of my family back home, and I will be thankful for their safety and security. However, it is with these brave men and women that I will celebrate, as I give thanks for their service and for the difference they have made in the lives and security of the Afghan people.
Read the full list from TIME here.