Governor Riley makes surprise visit to Iraq

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 26, 2006

special to the times-journal

MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley is traveling to Iraq at the invitation of the U.S. Defense Department.

While there, Governor Riley will visit Alabama National Guard troops and meet with U.S. military commanders to discuss the current situation in Iraq.

He is traveling with a delegation of other officials from the U.S.

Details of the delegation’s schedule are remaining confidential at this time at the request of the Defense Department.

Further information will be released as conditions permit.

“We have so many brave men and women from Alabama serving our nation in Iraq today.

“They are on the frontlines in the War on Terror and they’re over there to protect us.

They deserve and they have earned our undivided support.

I want to reassure them of that,” Governor Riley said in a taped statement made shortly before leaving for the Middle East.

“One of the reasons I want to go to Iraq is to let them know, here in Alabama, we support our troops 100 percent, we’re grateful to them for their service, and we’re proud of them and their families back home,” the Governor said.

The trip is part of a Pentagon program designed to give state leaders the opportunity to visit their own Guard troops in the theater of operations.