Perdue visits troops in Iraq

Gov. Sonny Perdue on Tuesday visited Georgia National Guard units fighting in Iraq.

While in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Perdue spoke by telephone with reporters in Georgia about his trip.

“All in all the spirit and morale of our troops is palpable,” Perdue said. “They feel there is light at the end of the tunnel and they feel like they’ve made a difference. I feel like they have, too.”

It is the second time Perdue has visited Georgia National Guard troops in the war zone. During a six-day swing through the Middle East and Afghanistan in 2005, he helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to members of Georgia’s 48th Brigade in Baghdad.

The Department of Defense regularly organizes small groups of governors to visit Iraq and Afghanistan to meet with officials from those countries and to greet troops for their home states.

Perdue traveled this week with the governors of Mississippi, Oregon and Wyoming. All,  he said, met with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill and Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. military officer in Iraq.

“It’s a much different scenario than when we were here in ‘05,” Perdue said. “The violence has gone down significantly.”

The change is evident from driving through the city, he said.

“You see people driving around, lights on in the shops and a sense of normalcy that applies to this part of the world is very apparent,” he said.

Perdue arrived earlier Tuesday and spent the day in briefings and visiting troops in the Green Zone, including a luncheon of grilled chicken, steak, vegetables and baked beans. On Wednesday, he said, the delegation will travel to forward operating bases and “get out among the countryside.”

Before leaving for Iraq, Perdue met with wounded Georgia soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, including a Peachtree City native and West Point graduate who lost both legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

“My heart just rose seeing the pride he had and the spirit,” Perdue said. “No bitterness, and no vitriol there about his condition. It was just a young man, a graduate of West Point, who had served his country and he was looking forward to getting his prosthesis and getting out and running again.”

Before leaving Washington, Perdue also met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. In his briefings with American leaders, he said, he shared his concern over “deployment fatigue,” not just so much among the guardsmen and women serving long stretches at war, but among their families and employers back home.

“That’s not what they felt like they signed up for,” Perdue said Tuesday.  “Sometimes multiple deployments create a real burden on employers. They have to be concerned about the months-long absences these deployments bring.”

The governor also said he received assurances that the enough National Guard troops will remain at home to fulfill their domestic role as well.

“They very well know the domestic role, first and foremost, for the guard is to protect the homeland,” Perdue said. “And they’ve assured us we will have adequate troops at home should disaster strike.”

From Iraq, Perdue will travel to Dubai for the Dubai Air Show, where a number of Georgia firms are vendors and where he said he will meet with potential economic devleopment prospects.

Asked if he was also visiting Afghanistan, as he did in 2005, Perdue said he could not answer but noted that there are “gaps” on his schedule between Iraq and Dubai. That could indicate he will visit the other war theater but that the Pentagon has advised against making that visit public.

But speaking about the effort in Afghanistan, Perdue expressed hope that President Barack Obama and the Pentagon will send a “surge” of troops there, a strategy he said was proven successful in Iraq.
For instant updates, follow us on Twitter

23 comments Add your comment

The Dogfighter Returns

November 10th, 2009
3:36 pm

this effing idiot did not say anything meaningful. someone send elmer fudd back to ga before some extremists get their hands on him, he is definitely an infidel.

“That’s not what they felt like they signed up for,” wtf did they think they were signing up for? vacation?

eating all the time. when is he going to give his mouth a break?

Grateful

November 10th, 2009
4:24 pm

Thank you, Governor Perdue…..you obviously have a lot of compassion and care in your heart for our brave men and women serving in harms way. God bless our troops, may God bless you, and God Bless America!!

Dan

November 10th, 2009
4:39 pm

I hope they keep him over there. Maybe he can fight for the water rights….

You know what the sad part is with good ole Sonny boy…. what has he done for this state? Anyone? The answer is simple… nothing. Even when you read the state web site, there is nothing there that even points to the thought that he has ever done anything besides his little pet projects.

So I say, let him stay over (feel free to insert anyplace but Ga).

OZZFEST

November 10th, 2009
5:22 pm

Dear God,
Please plant one large IED near our Governor while he is overseas. Please spare any military personell.

Thanks.

DannyX

November 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

Sonny has done plenty for this state.

His pray for rain campaign is paying off as I type. His pals at Linger Longer are doing swell. Sonny has managed to secure some incredible loans. He has worked hard for a couple special tax breaks. Made some incredible land deals. Flown a helicopter. Played the role of a head football coach in a movie. Got drunk in China. Handed out special corporate tax breaks to the point of absurdity. Helped tie up traffic. Negotiated a loser NCR relocation deal. Lost the water wars. Earned 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 Delta SkyMiles.

Heck, I would be thankful for the troops sacrifice too. Protecting Sonny’s American dream. I say we open up a few more predatory lending establishments next to Georgia bases. Republicans supporting the troops here at home. $$$$. Wow, God Bless. Thanks soldiers!

Dave

November 10th, 2009
6:34 pm

So who paid for this trip? I suppose I can handle the potential benefit of going to the airshow if the writer had identified the Georgia companies that stand to benefit and how they would benefit. I very much doubt that the Georgia soldiers in Iraq and (wink, wink) Afghanistan are all that cheered by his photo ops there.

whirlybird

November 10th, 2009
6:38 pm

Good. I’m glad that fat *** finally did SOMETHING. I really think he is a worthless governor who has no idea what the price of a loaf of bread costs. His priorities are not the peoples’ priorities. What does that mean? He has no clue. If he really wants to do something meaningful, get down to the level of the working family…live with one for a week! I’m not talking about the worthless POS’s that won’t work. I’m talking about the average family that has two working parents who cannot get raises because their companies “can’t afford it” but prices still continue to rise for food, utilities, etc. Where does that extra dollar come from? Prices go up, but salaries do not.. In fact, the salaries have been cut and we’re making less than we did six years ago. I would feel better if I thought for a minute he recognized that, but he’s more concerned with raising fines for speeders. Give me a break.

[...] here, here, here, here and here. He was also able to specifically meet with Georgia-based troops during [...]

mikey

November 10th, 2009
8:45 pm

DANNY X…I’m with you…Sonny Perdue is a big fat nothing.

fishon

November 10th, 2009
9:21 pm

Enter your comments here

fishon

November 10th, 2009
9:26 pm

Sonny, I guess while your sporting around on another foreign trip state employees can take another furlough day to pay for it. I’d like to hear what the citizens of the State GA are getting that is so beneficial by THIS trip. Another typical demonstration of the wonderful leadership the “W” republicans continue to offer us. THANKS Sonny and good riddons. LAME DUCK!!!!.

Mike

November 10th, 2009
11:19 pm

Look people, did you think this idiot would pass up a chance to fly. The problem is, it cost us tax-payers money. He is there for Sonny. He can’t do anything for business. After all, he can’t even keep his financial dealings in order. He needed to stay here and work to pay off his 21 million dollar loan. I really hate to see him go out of this state, then people really know how bad Georgia voters can screw up!!

Base

November 11th, 2009
12:08 am

The state economy is in the ditch with revenues and jobs off the cliff and we get to pay for stupid Sonny to go on another trip.

Mike Green

November 11th, 2009
12:21 am

Did Sonny use furlough days for this trip?

Willis

November 11th, 2009
6:28 am

The Guv flies while Georgia leads the nation in bank failures.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

November 11th, 2009
9:14 am

Wow, Ozzfest, that’s kind of extreme, don’t you think?

Peter

November 11th, 2009
9:21 am

That is very nice…… are the planning new reservoirs over there ?

[...] Perdue visits troops in Iraq. [...]

Todd

November 11th, 2009
9:49 am

Its really a shame that with the potential Georgia has to be an economic powerhouse of the Southeast that the state government continues to run it like Mayberry.

Coming from a fellow Soldier (who is deploying to Afghaninstan in 8 weeks) I think its great that the Governor is supporting the National Guard troops in Iraq…but what about he goes during July when its hot as hell and there arent any holidays to eat?

OZZFEST

November 11th, 2009
10:27 am

….Not as long as anybody else is around to get hit.
You get what you deserve…each and every one of us.

adam

November 11th, 2009
12:42 pm

I am a full fledged republican…and support our troops 100 percent. I come from a military family wiht a long list of service. However I disagree with Sonny taking a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan…at the taxpayers expense. We have so many people here hurting that this was just plain dumb….it is the CinC responsibility Barack Obama to be over there….and supporting our troops. The governor is required to delegate and control his state….thats why we elected him. I can’t remember the last time I have seen the Governor on TV touting anything good. NCR was a joke….a little dvd place for about 8 bucks an hour was a joke….all the predatory lending was a joke….all the bank failures we have is a joke…….the jokes on us the voters and we were sold a bill of goods. I want a refund on my vote!!! JOHN OXENDINE FOR GOVERNOR!!! Now that is a man willing to get the job done…and I think he will. He don’t play….Sonny does!

Zeb

November 11th, 2009
10:15 pm

Sonny & Repub. pals accomplishments: highest bank failure rate, among highest unemployment rate, foreclosure rate, dropout rate, lowest test scores, most tax loopholes for big money, most toxic city (Atlanta) etc. and their continuing campaign to destroy state government functions such as parks, courts, public defender, DA’s, mental health, forestry, ag. extension service, public education, etc., etc. and “privatize” everything by giving multi-million dollar taxpayer funded contracts to cronies, campaign donors, etc. They cannot seem to grasp that if you undermine & destroy government, you are destroying the rational functioning of society. Meanwhile Sonny is making yet another trip– while Rome burns.

Base

November 12th, 2009
3:59 pm

While the state burns down Sonny runs around the world at our expense.Put him in a foxhole with a rifle.