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    US Representative visits troops in Baghdad

    US Representative visits troops in Baghdad

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class April Davis | U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, visits with Spc. Joel Eggert, left, of Moscow,...... read more read more

    BAGHDAD—U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, visited soldiers with the 116th Cavalry Brigade, Idaho Army National Guard, based out of Boise, Idaho, Feb. 2 at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. The brigade is currently serving as Garrison Command for Victory Base Complex under United States Division – Center in support of Operation New Dawn.

    Labrador, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, traveled to Iraq along with members of Congress from California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah, as part of a congressional delegation visit to gain insight on U.S. government spending and progress in the country. The delegation took time out of their schedules meeting with military and political leaders to have an informal dinner at the Joint Visitors Bureau with service members from their congressional districts.

    “Meeting with soldiers has been the best part of the whole trip,” Labrador said. “There’s nothing better than being with the men and women from Idaho who are serving our nation and I’m just so grateful for what they are doing.”

    Labrador met with the brigade commander, Col. Guy Thomas, and senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Woodall, both residents of Meridian, Idaho, to gain an understanding of the brigade’s mission in Iraq.

    Soldiers from the brigade also attended the dinner to meet Labrador and discuss with him issues important to them.

    “I learned more about my representative and his political stances than I knew before meeting him,” said Staff Sgt. Breane Buckingham, a supply sergeant with B Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho resident. “I think it was a learning experience on both sides because he also got a chance to learn about us. It was very informative.”

    This was Labrador’s first visit to Iraq, which he said will leave a lasting impression on him.

    “I’ve never served in the military, so seeing all the men and women that are here sacrificing their lives, giving up their time, being away from their family … I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be gone for such a long period of time serving your country and I’m going to take those thoughts back home with me,” he said. “Every time we’re thinking about sending someone to combat, this experience is going to be deeply ingrained in me.”

    Labrador also said he would deliver messages to the soldiers’ families and communities back home in Idaho.

    “I want the family members to know that their soldiers are doing really great work and they should be really proud of what they do,” he said. “I haven’t been more proud of my country than I am today.”



    Date Taken: 02.24.2011
    Date Posted: 02.24.2011 23:51
    Story ID: 66032
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

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