(KCPW News) Utah Governor Gary Herbert is in the Middle East, where he met with troops in Iraq yesterday. He says he wanted to get a closer look at the current situation and lend support to Utah’s servicemen and women. The governor says he also got plenty of insight from U.S. commanders.
“There are some issues that I think we need to be careful about and concerned about back in the states on policy that has to do with the Iran, Iraq border and what will happen with that. Iran clearly is helping the rebels and feeding them resources,” he told reporters in a teleconference. “The worry is that we’ve created a vacuum here that Iran will step into.”
The governor says contrary to reports that Iraq is more deadly now than a year ago, military leadership informed him the violence has subsided significantly.
Herbert said he’s been in the country for about two days, and faced with a barren landscape, 115-degree heat, and no sleep in 36 hours, the troops buoyed his spirits with their dedication.
“I have not found one person that has not a smile on their face, very optimistic about what they’re doing, feeling good about their service, feeling good about their country and trying to do their level best to help the people in these countries here have a better life and protect the freedoms and liberties that we take too much for granted as Americans,” says Herbert.
The governor brought Utah soldiers a coin specially minted for the trip as a token of appreciation. He says he’ll likely be back in the state this weekend.