Gov. Freudenthal visits troops in Iraq
Freudenthal in Kuwait
Gov. Dave Freudenthal visits with Chuck Sprague, a Department of Defense civilian, at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. Photo courtesy Wyoming Governor's office.
by Office of Governor Dave Freudenthal
January 24, 2006
Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal is among a bipartisan group of governors traveling this week to Iraq and other sites of the global war on terrorism, visiting U.S. troops, meeting with international leaders and obtaining a firsthand view of conditions in that area.
Joining Freudenthal are Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, as well as several federal and military officials. The trip started Sunday with a classified briefing at the Pentagon and a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, beginning an itinerary that will take them to several countries over the coming week.
Freudenthal and the other governors are in Iraq today, Tuesday, January 24.
"I'm tremendously glad for the opportunity to show troops from Wyoming and from all over the country that they are very much in our hearts and minds," Freudenthal said. "This is not only a chance to see some of them face-to-face on behalf of their families, friends and state, but it's also a chance to see where they have been serving over the past few years."
The governor's first stop was at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where he had dinner with soldiers from Wyoming. (Photos from that event will follow in a separate e-mail.) His visit to Iraq includes stops in various parts of the country, meetings with Wyoming troops and briefings by Gen. George Casey and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.
A full breakdown of the Wyoming National Guard's involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom is attached. Over the past few years, Wyoming has deployed troops in the 1041st Engineer Company; 4th Infantry Division Rear Operations Center; 115th Field Artillery Brigade; 1022nd Medical Company; 2-300th Field Artillery and Wyoming Air National Guard.
Since taking office, Freudenthal 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 families of military families in times of need. It's important for the state of Wyoming to lead by example in terms of employer support for the Guard, Freudenthal said.
"These are people who leave behind their families, their work and their normal lives in service to their country," Freudenthal said. "It's both a remarkable honor and responsibility to take them the message that Wyoming appreciates them and supports what they are doing."
Office of Governor Dave Freudenthal State of Wyoming