WASHINGTON (WJZ/AP) — Just ahead of Memorial Day,  President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

Obama arrived at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan to speak with troops and visit soldiers being treated at a base hospital.

“I know it’s a little late, but I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by,” Obama said.

At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded.

As the United States and NATO work to bring home most of their troops, the president pledged that the combat mission in Afghanistan will end at the end of this year. He also said the war will come to a responsible conclusion.

Obama directed all government agencies in the United States to fly their flags at half-staff on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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