Congressman Briefs Press, Constituents on Trip to Afghanistan, Iraq
WILLIAMSPORT -- U.S. Rep. Tom Marino returned from his trip to the Middle East on Friday with an even stronger respect for American servicemen and women and an unwavering belief in the U.S. military’s work there.
The freshman legislator from Pennsylvania’s 10th District was one of four members of a congressional delegation that completed a tour of Iraq and Afghanistan on Friday.
Marino and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Michael Grimms, R-N.Y., and John Sarbanes, D-Md., arrived in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning following the week-long trip.
Marino met with a gathering of constituents, veterans and the media Friday afternoon at the Lycoming Memorial U.S. Army Reserve Center in Williamsport.
He told the group that he has always been a staunch supporter of the military and national defense and said the trip “cemented” his beliefs.
“I feel confident that what we are spending is being used wisely,” Marino said. “Our young men and women are doing a fantastic job over there. Words can’t adequately explain it.”
During the trip, the lawmakers met with U.S. and host nation military and civic leaders – including Gen. David Petraeus – to discuss training and equipping of combat forces, combat operations, reconstruction efforts and the training of Afghan and Iraqi security forces.
They spent a majority of their time alongside the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and Marino described them as “by far, the best in the world – a first-class, top-notch fighting force,” yet a “compassionate group of volunteers.”
Citing the advances the U.S. forces have made in breaking up the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the splinter terrorist groups, Marino said that when he tucks in his children at night he can rest assured that they are safe from terrorism.
He vowed to do all he could to provide America’s servicemen and women in with the best equipment and to continue to support military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Referring to his 18 years as a prosecutor, first as a Lycoming County District Attorney and then as a U.S. Attorney, Marino said that he had often come to see the worst in people.
“But, this week I saw the best in people,” he said. “I saw the best in the world, our troops.”