Haslam visits state's National Guard troops in Iraq, Kuwait

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 1:52pm

Gov. Bill Haslam joined three other governors on a trip to Iraq and Kuwait this week to visit U.S. soldiers, calling it “a really eye-opening experience.”

“I’m actually really impressed with how folks are hanging in there,” Haslam told reporters in a telephone call Tuesday. “Most Tennessee troops have been over here since last winter or spring. Most are going to be here until about the end of the year. That’s a long time to be away from home. It’s a long time to be in a dangerous situation.

“I asked all of them, ‘Tell me what you miss the most,’ and every one of them really, really misses being home. I also asked, ‘Are you glad you’re doing it?’ And they all say ‘yes.’”

Haslam left Monday with the governors of Kentucky, Utah and Nevada on the Pentagon-funded trip. He said it was 130 degrees in Baghdad Tuesday.

“The working conditions are incredibly hard. The work they are doing is dangerous — not as dangerous as it was but still dangerous.”

Haslam said, “As the head of the Tennessee National Guard, we have a lot of soldiers over here, and it helps to understand what they are doing. Hopefully, it’s encouraging to them to have folks come visit them. We’ve had a lot of great meetings and conversations with folks already. It helps me to understand the scope of what we have been doing over here and what we still are doing.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 8/2/11 at 7:52

He is there protecting his oil interest.

By: Kosh III on 8/3/11 at 6:53

How much money did he waste on this? 10 thousand? 100 thousand?
He could have done all this remotely over the Internet but then it wouldn't have had as much propaganda value.

By: treehugger7 on 8/3/11 at 7:24

Ah, but will he stay there?!

By: Nashville_Edumi... on 8/3/11 at 1:58

Kosh - "on the Pentagon-funded trip"

So if you are one of the 40% of Americans who actually pay taxes (federal) then you can gripe to DOD. State funds weren't used.

By: Kosh III on 8/3/11 at 2:13

The First Amendment and citizenship are not based on taxation payments.

Does it matter? It was a waste of money. Period.