Afghanistan: Our Military’s Professionalism in Action
With the holidays in full swing, many of us will soon be traveling to visit loved ones. I just returned from a trip myself, and I want to tell you what I saw on it. Because these final days of December are filled with the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping and celebrating, let me remind you about the remarkable sacrifice being made by Americans some 6,500 miles away from New Hampshire.
I got to spend a few days in Afghanistan and talk with some of the U.S. troops stationed there. What I witnessed was truly remarkable. I am pleased to report that their morale is high and they are focused on completing their mission ahead of the upcoming withdrawal of American forces from that country.
Nobody can say for certain what will happen after they depart. It will be up to the Afghan people to determine their own future then. But I can tell you this: I was deeply impressed by the professionalism of our troops. They clearly understand their mission and they’re focused on fulfilling it by the time they come home.
Regardless what you think about our involvement in Afghanistan or about the decision to withdraw our troops, all Granite Staters can share a common pride in knowing that the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving there are giving it everything they have. They are the very embodiment of devotion to duty.
I spent my time at Camp Eggers in Kabul and Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan with other members of the House Budget Committee, on which I serve. I met military personnel who are from New Hampshire and eagerly listened as they told me about their experiences. I also passed along holiday wishes from the folks back home, and told them how proud Granite Staters are of them.
I also got to talk with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, U.S. military leaders, Afghanistan’s Defense Minister, General Abdul Raheem Wardak and even tribal officials. They showed us some of the many things being done to defeat the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and others who wish America harm through terrorism and tyranny. Our men and women in uniform are doing a great job of rooting out and rounding up the rebels.
I was grateful for the opportunity to see operations in Afghanistan. It was yet another reminder of the obligation we have to stand behind all those who have served our country in uniform, from World War Two through today’s conflicts.
That’s why I am supporting them through legislation, such as the Veterans Health Equity Act that I have introduced in the House, which would make sure they have a full-service veterans’ hospital here in New Hampshire, or access to comparable medical treatment in state. That’s why I hosted a special job fair for military veterans and their families in Manchester last month, which was attended by almost 300 people. Always remember that the families of our service members have sacrificed, too; that’s why I cosponsored the Gold Star Mothers National Monument Act, which would authorize the erection of a monument honoring Gold Star Mothers, who have lost children in military service. There will be even more opportunities to work on their behalf when the new session of Congress begins in January, too.
So this holiday season, while you are enjoying time with your loved ones, take a moment to remember the many impressive things being done now, and all that was done in the past, by our troops who have honored the call of duty. There vigilance, service and dedication make it possible for us to spend the holidays in peace and security.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.