A day after greeting Kentucky troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait, Governor Steve Beshear met more servicemen and women in Afghanistan Wednesday. The trip is part of a special Department of Defense trip for selected governors and marks the first time a sitting Kentucky governor has visited active war zones.
“It is an honor to visit with our servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan,” Beshear said in a news release. “Their work and sacrifice on behalf of our country is extraordinary. I was very proud to meet with them personally and tell them that we continually pray for them and for their families.”
The governor visited bases and command centers in Kabul, Kandahar and Bagram. The defense department paid for the trip and reached out to Beshear’s office in late May. He was joined by the governors of Tennessee, Nevada and Utah.
More than 9,600 troops from Kentucky are currently deployed in Afghanistan. Approximately 6,000 troops are from Ft. Campbell, 3,600 from Ft. Knox, and 79 from the Kentucky National Guard. Combined with the troops deployed in Iraq and Kuwait, the commonwealth currently has more than 12,000 servicemen and women serving in these war zones.
“I am deeply humbled to have been able to visit with our troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, and I told our servicemen and women that they are true heroes here and at home,” said Beshear. “I am very lucky to be able to return to Kentucky later this week, but so many of our troops will be far from home and in harm’s way for months. I call on all Kentuckians to keep them and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”
The governor returns to Kentucky on Friday.