BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — President Barack Obama used a quiet holiday Monday to meet with wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Obama traveled to the facility in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington on Monday afternoon. The White House said the president met with 38 wounded service members. Thirty-five of the service members were injured in Afghanistan, and three were injured in Iraq.

While at the hospital, the president awarded four Purple Hearts.

Obama has occasionally visited service members wounded in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. He visited the National Naval Medical Center in February and made a trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in June, before the center was renamed and moved to its current location.

Monday’s visit comes as the U.S. enters its 11th year of war in Afghanistan. Obama has announced plans to end the U.S. combat mission there by the end of 2014. Steps are also under way to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq by the end of this year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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