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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Bob Hope, who made a career of entertaining U.S. military personnel during times of war, is home this Christmas but his thoughts are with the troops.

In a Christmas message from their suburban Toluca Lake home on Tuesday, Bob and his wife, Dolores, asked Americans to ``go out of our way to thank them and let them know we care.''

Hope spokesman Ward Grant said the 98-year-old entertainer and his wife believe it's important to reflect ``on the gifts that God has given us and our great nation.''

``It is time to embrace our faith and exercise our pride of being an American,'' Grant said, paraphrasing comments by the Hopes. ``Without fear we must pursue our lives, without reservation we must support our men and women in the military who are protecting our freedoms and our lives and also the uniformed men and women who serve us so well in our communities.''

Earlier this year, Hope was hospitalized for 12 days at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank for treatment of pneumonia. He returned to his Toluca Lake estate on Sept. 6.

``He's doing fine,'' Grant said.

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On the Net:

Official Bob Hope site: http://www.bobhope.com.