August 16, 2002  


Granger Returns from Middle East

Congresswoman Kay Granger returned from a weeklong trip to the Middle East to inspect U.S. military installations, visit military constituents stationed abroad and receive briefings on the status of Operation Enduring Freedom. Granger also conducted several meetings with high-level foreign officials in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey and Qatar.

"It was educational to travel to the front lines of our war on terrorism and learn the challenges our troops and our allies face in protecting the lives of the American people. I will carry what I learned back to Congress and use this knowledge when making decisions on issues regarding the war. This is especially helpful in my work on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction," said Granger.

Granger spent time with several constituents who are serving their country abroad in the harsh conditions of the Middle East. Most of these soldiers have to leave their families at home and live in so-called "tent cities" in the blistering hot Persian Gulf weather.

"After visiting our troops and seeing where they live and work, I have come away with a much better appreciation for the daily sacrifices our men and women in the armed forces make for their country. We have some fine men and women serving in the Gulf and every citizen should be proud of their efforts," said Granger.

The delegation visited several high-ranking foreign officials where they discussed the countries' assistance in the war on terrorism, the Middle East peace process and public diplomacy. Many of the countries pledged their strong support for the global war on terrorism and offered continued assistance for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Granger inspected several military installations, including facilities at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and the Naval Support Facility and Aviation Unit in Bahrain. Many of these installations have sustained the high-tempo operations that are necessary for the continuing military campaign in Afghanistan.

The delegation also met with U.S. State Department officials in the Middle East and discussed the importance of maintaining a vigorous public diplomacy campaign. This campaign is important in responding to anti-U.S. propaganda put out by extremist political organizations sympathetic to terrorists groups.