Posts Tagged ‘troops’

Gov. Sandoval Announces Supply Drive For Troops

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:59 am November 15th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval has announced he is holding a supply drive for Nevada troops this month. Items are being collected at Sandoval’s offices in the capitol in Carson City and at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas.

“This summer I was honored and privileged to travel to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait and meet with our brave men and women,” Sandoval said. “After learning that supplies are much needed, we decided to hold a drive for our troops.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval met with members of the 442nd Signal Corps. in Bagram, Afghanistan in August.

The drive is looking particularly for donations of DVDs, energy bars, foot powder, razors, calling cards, instant coffee, wipes, chap stick and video games.

“Our fellow Nevadans and Americans are putting themselves in harm’s way every day,” Sandoval said. “Through this drive, we are hoping to send them something to bring home a little closer. I encourage all Nevadans to participate.”

Donations will be accepted through Dec. 2.  The offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sandoval’s Las Vegas office is located at 555 E. Washington Ave., Suite 5100.

Blue Star Mothers both north and south will assist in the packing and shipping of collected supplies.

Sandoval Says Eye-Opening Trip To Middle East Showed Pride And Dedication Of Nevada, U.S. Troops

By Sean Whaley | 4:38 pm August 12th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval figured the Nevada soldiers serving in Afghanistan appreciated his visit last week when they literally tore the organizational patches off their uniforms and offered them up as keepsakes on his trip to see the country’s military efforts first-hand.

Sandoval, back nearly a full week today, said his eyes teared up when the soldiers made such a heartfelt gesture.

“But it’s all about the soldiers, it’s not about me,” he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval talked today about his trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. / Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau

Traveling with the troops in C-130s and Black Hawk helicopters during an intense five-day trip that also included time in Iraq and Kuwait, and sometimes having to wear body armor for protection, Sandoval made the trip with three other governors.

Sandoval said he felt secure the entire time. He was invited on the trip in May from the Department of Defense but had to keep the news quiet for security reasons.

“It was a very aggressive schedule,” he said.

Sandoval spoke to the Nevada News Bureau today about the trip and his experiences.

He visited two bases in Kuwait, two in Iraq and four in Afghanistan, including Kandahar, where he met with members of the Nevada National Guard’s 422nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Sandoval attended their deployment ceremony in January in Reno and said he will be on hand when they return to Nevada.

Sandoval said as commander in chief of the Nevada National Guard it was important for him to see Nevada’s troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also wanted to show his respect and appreciation to Nevada’s soldiers for their service and sacrifice.

“But even more importantly to see how they live and see the conditions that they are in, the pressures that they are under, to see how proud they are to serve,” he said. “Certainly they are all looking forward to coming home, but they are very, very proud to serve their country. We can’t thank them enough.

Some of the patches soldiers gave to Gov. Sandoval.

“I met a young man from Dayton High School who’s a year removed from graduation and he’s working checkpoints in one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan,” Sandoval said. “To see him personally and to see such a young man who is so proud to serve; and he’s right there on the front lines.”

Sandoval left Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, flying to Ramstein Air Base in Germany where he spent the night. While there, he visited Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest military hospital outside the continental U.S.

Sandoval said he met a wounded Las Vegas soldier as well as soldiers injured while serving in Afghanistan from the country of Georgia.

Gov. Brian Sandoval outfitted with protective vest and helmet while in Afghanistan.

“That was one of the moments that made a huge impression on me because there were three of them (who were) injured as a result of an IED (improvised explosive device),” Sandoval said. “And one of them had had a below-the-knee amputation. And he didn’t complain. His only statement was it is such a privilege for (him) to serve alongside the American soldiers.”

Sandoval said it was “pretty remarkable” to have breakfast in Afghanistan and then dinner in Germany.

Sandoval arrived back in Reno at 1 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, before learning of the horrific loss of troops in the helicopter shot down in Afghanistan.

The danger that the troops are in all the time was brought home for Sandoval when he observed a “ramp ceremony” in Bagram, Afghanistan, in which a fallen solider was honored before being brought back to the United States.

“And you watch as each of the soldiers goes on the back of this ramp of the C-130 and pay their respects and go off, and then to hear about that tragedy with the soldiers that lost their lives on that helicopter,” he said.

Sandoval is now busy writing letters and following up with the families of the soldiers he met and looking to coordinate some deliveries of items the soldiers say they would like to have, from DVDs to foot powder to decent razors.

“It’s the little things that really matter,” he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval with members of the 422nd Signal Corps. in Afghanistan.

Sandoval said he is also working to ensure that when the troops return, there will be college and job opportunities for them. There is a jobs program for returning veterans operated through the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. There is also free tuition available at Nevada’s university system for returning troops and Sandoval said he wants to make sure that continues.

“But I’ve given them my full commitment that I’m going to do whatever I can to help support them,” Sandoval said. “I told them to call me personally and I will be able to help them. Because I will do whatever I can for them, and even more so after seeing what they are experiencing and what they are doing for all of us.”

Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says meeting the injured troops from the country of Georgia made a big impression:

081211Sandoval1 :24 the American soldiers.”

Sandoval says the trip was important to see the troops in person in theater:

081211Sandoval2 :18 thank them enough.”

Sandoval says he met a young man from Dayton working in one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan:

081211Sandoval3 :21 the front lines.”

Sandoval says watching the “ramp ceremony” was a moving experience:

081211Sandoval4 :16 on that helicopter.”

Sandoval says he will do all he can for the troops when they return to Nevada:

081211Sandoval5 :18 all of us.”

 

Gov. Brian Sandoval In Middle East To Meet With Nevada Troops, See Mission First-Hand

By Sean Whaley | 12:42 pm August 2nd, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval had a teleconference with the Nevada press today from Kuwait, where he is staying in the midst of a week-long trip to the Middle East, including visits with Nevada troops at several bases in Iraq.

Sandoval left Monday with the governors of Kentucky, Tennessee and Utah on the trip, and he expects to return this weekend.

“I’ve had an opportunity and privilege to be on the deployment for our 422nd Signal Battalion and welcome some of our soldiers back, and I thought it was important to show them respect and to come out here and see them and see the conditions that they live in and see on a first-hand basis what they do for our country,” he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is on a week-long trip to the Middle East to visit with Nevada troops. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Sandoval said morale among the Nevada troops and other military personnel in Iraq and Kuwait is high, and they have a strong belief in their mission.

Sandoval left from Washington, DC, where he first had the opportunity to meet with new Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, stopping in Shannon, Ireland, before arriving in Kuwait.

“We took a C-130 with a group of soldiers into Iraq and arrived there and met with many of the soldiers,” he said. “Then we took a Black Hawk helicopter into another base and met with several other Nevada soldiers.”

Sandoval said he met Nevada troops from Lovelock, Elko, Las Vegas and other areas of the state.

Sandoval visited Ali Al Salem Air Base and Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. He also visited Joint Air Base Balad, Taji Air Base, Camp Victory Baghdad and Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval meets service members at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeffrey Schultze)

“The morale here is extremely high,” Sandoval said. “They were proud to be here. And they love their jobs. They are really mission oriented and it is very, very impressive.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval answers questions from Master Sgt. Christian Cantrill, 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Operations NCO in charge at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Cantrill is deployed from Nellis Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeffrey Schultze)

Sandoval said he cannot talk about where he will be going next.

He did say he hasn’t had a wink of sleep since departing on the trip.

Sandoval said that as commander in chief of the Nevada National Guard, it was important for him to see the mission first hand. He met with all the generals in command in Iraq and received a thorough briefing on the status of the mission.

“The soldiers from Nevada were extremely happy to see the governor of their state, and it was very gratifying for me to be able to give them hugs and let them know that we care deeply about their service to our country and that they make our state very proud,” he said. “But they were very pleasantly surprised that I was here.

“People of our state need to know that they can be very proud of their Nevadans that are serving in the guard or full-time military,” Sandoval said. “They’re working their tails off. They look great. They’re healthy, they’re happy, they’re eager to serve. And it just was a privilege and very humbling for me to have an opportunity to come over here and see them.”

Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says it is important for him to see Nevada’s troops deployed to the Middle East first hand:

080211Sandoval1 :19 for our country.”

Sandoval says the Nevada soldiers were pleasantly surprised to get a visit from the governor:

080211Sandoval2 :23 I was here.”

Sandoval says Nevadans can be proud of the work Nevada’s soldiers are doing in Iraq and Kuwait:

080211Sandoval3 :23 and see them.”