FORT HOOD, Texas— A group of soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, had the opportunity of meeting Sen. Ted Cruz, during a luncheon at the Operation Iraqi Freedom Dining Facility July 2, here.
“My top priority in office is economics and restoring it,” Cruz stated. “Economics and growth are vital for every thing else to have chance. If we don’t have growth we won’t succeed on anything. What I’m trying to do everyday is work with anyone who is willing to work together.”
Cruz asked the soldiers questions on various topics to include the unit’s current mission in Afghanistan and their views on current issues such as the nation’s budget, military affairs and job security.
“It takes more creative thinking on the leaders part in order to be more efficient using the equipment on hand to accomplish the mission,” stated Capt. Ben Agnor, the brigade’s rear detachment operations officer assigned to Headquarters Company, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.
“It is possible to accomplish the mission with equipment on hand, we just have to be more disciplined in the way we use those resources,” said Agnor, a native of College Station, Texas.
Soldiers expressed their concerns and even offered solutions they thought may help in the long run for both soldiers and civilians.
“The economy is one of the biggest issues on people’s minds I would say,” said Staff Sgt. Jaime Espinoza, an intelligence analyst.
“I’ve had multiple soldiers get out (of the military) and were unable to get a job. I tell them to weigh the pros and cons,” added Espinoza, a native of Azusa, Calif. “When transitioning into the civilian world they have to ask themselves ‘what’s going to be out there for me.”
The visit to Fort Hood served as Cruz’ first visit to the Army installation since taking office six-months ago and soldiers said they felt honored to have been selected to eat with him.
“I enjoyed it,” Espinoza said. “It’s nice to be able to talk to someone up there and see their point of views and have him listen to ours. And also take into account what we have to say and how we feel.”
Following his luncheon, Cruz visited other units on Fort Hood but before he departed he thanked the group of “Long Knife” soldiers for their service.
“Thank you for joining me for lunch and putting yourself in harm’s way,” Cruz stated. “I’m grateful for your service.”
Espinoza said, Cruz’ perspective on economics and what he feels is a way ahead for soldiers and civilians in regards to stabilizing the economy caught his attention the most.