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Pinedale Online > News > November 2009 > Governor Freudenthal visits military personnel In Middle East

Meeting the Defense Secretary. Photo by State of Wyoming.
Meeting the Defense Secretary
Gov. Dave Freudenthal meets with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon Monday. Freudenthal traveled to Kuwait and Iraq to meet with Wyoming troops serving there.

At the Pentagon. Photo by Governor Freudenthal's Office.
At the Pentagon
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Gov. Dave Freudenthal met in Washington, D.C. at the Pentagon for a briefing on the Governor’s trip to Kuwait and Iraq to meet with Wyoming troops.

Around the table. Photo by State of Wyoming.
Around the table
left to right around the table: Gov. Sonny Perdue, GA-Rep., Gov. Dave Freudenthal, WY-Dem., unidentified DOD staffer, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, OR-Dem, and Gov. Haley Barbour, MS-Rep. meet with U.S. Sec. Defense Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon yesterday prior to the delegation’s trip to the Middle East.
Governor Freudenthal visits military personnel in Middle East
Travels to Kuwait and Iraq
by State of Wyoming media release
November 10, 2009

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal visited Wyoming National Guard troops and other active duty U.S. personnel serving in Kuwait and Iraq while on a trip sponsored by the Secretary of Defense.

"We have a greater number of our National Guardsmen deployed right now than at any other time - nearly one thousand soldiers and airmen - and I welcome the opportunity to go where they are serving to make sure that they know how much all of us back home in Wyoming support them and appreciate what they’re doing for their State and Country," Freudenthal said.

Freudenthal is joined on the bipartisan trip by three other governors: Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Ted Kulongoski of Oregon and Sonny Perdue of Georgia. According to Col. Jeff Cashman of the U.S. Air Force, the three states also have a significant number of Guardsmen deployed. The governors are accompanied by Brigadier General Tim Kadavy, the deputy director of the Army National Guard, and other military and federal officials.

"I appreciate getting to see firsthand where our folks are serving and what their mission is," said Freudenthal. "When I get back home I hope to be able to reassure their families that our country and our military leaders are doing their best to ensure that they are as well cared for as possible, under the circumstances," he said.

The trip, which began on Monday, included a Pentagon briefing and a visit from Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Gov. Freudenthal encouraged Wyomingites to drop the troops a line, send them a care package and remember them during the holidays.

"Wyoming has been sending its National Guard soldiers and airmen on overseas deployments literally since the first month of my first term in January, 2003, and they have been serving continuously, many have deployed more than once and in more than one theater," Freudenthal said. "It won’t be possible for me to visit each and every person from Wyoming, but I hope to see as many as possible, to shake their hands and tell them ‘thank you’ personally," he said.

For information on adopting a solider please contact the Wyoming National Guard’s Yellow Ribbon Program at 307-772-5262. More than 700 Wyoming Soldiers deployed in April and are currently serving in Kuwait and Iraq. (See the attached PPT for detailed contact information for the locations of unit armories and their service areas).

Freudenthal, in his time as governor, has extended the Military Members Compensation Committee; provided for the retention of wages, group health insurance, deferred compensation and accrued annual leave for soldiers placed on active duty; and worked on the Wyoming Military Assistance Trust Fund, which assists military families in times of need.

Freudenthal has tried to attend every Wyoming National Guard farewell and welcome home ceremony, no matter the day or hour.

Photos courtesy Governor Freudenthal’s office

Pinedale Online > News > November 2009 > Governor Freudenthal visits military personnel In Middle East

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