3 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-678

American troops at ISAF meet with Congressmen

Representative Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) meets with troops deployed to ISAF headquarters in a dining facility here Dec. 3. Davis had lunch with troops hailing from Tennessee to thank them for their service as well as to gain feedback about being deployed.

KABUL, Afghanistan - American troops from Tennessee and Washington state, who are deployed to ISAF headquarters, had an opportunity to dine with congressional representatives from their respective states at the ISAF Headquarters this afternoon.

Representative Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) and Representative Brian Baird (D-Wash.) met and had lunch with selected troops to show their support, as well as to give service members an opportunity to offer feedback about their deployment experiences.

“It’s always a pleasure to meet with people serving our country,” Baird said as he handed out holiday greeting cards hand made by members of the Head Start program in Washington.

Army Colonel Daniel Kern, senior mentor for the Strategic Service College that trains Afghan National Army soldiers in Kabul, has worked with Baird for close to 10 years as the chief of staff of the Army Element at Camp Murray in Tacoma, Wash.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for [Representative] Baird,” he said. “He’s always been one to make sure his visits are more than just visits. He genuinely wants to get the pulse of what’s really going on with our deployed troops.”

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Curtis Smith, a native from Franklin, Tenn. said he was proud to see a fellow Tennessee resident visit ISAF.

“I’m excited to be here,” he said while preparing his meal. “The congressman taking time out of his busy schedule is very important to us.”

Throughout the lunch, some of the issues Davis discussed with service members included gas prices back home, the bank and automobile industry bailouts, and how Congress can help win the war in Afghanistan.

“We appreciate everything you guys are doing here,” Davis affirmed. “Tell me what you need, and I’ll do my best to make it happen.”

U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Katherine Coyle, senior enlisted adviser for ISAF’s Joint Visitors Bureau, is among the group of military personnel responsible for coordinating face-to-face meetings between distinguished visitors and service members deployed to ISAF.

“I have goosebumps thinking about the first meeting I coordinated,” she said, referring to the first meeting she helped put together last month with congressional representatives from Texas, Missouri and Pennsylvania, respectively. “It’s a thrill to put these together because these representatives find ways to make it out here, and I know these [service members] want to be heard in some way.”

Coyle noted that future meetings are in the works for ISAF troops and interested service members need only to monitor their email for notices about future meetings.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/