Cicilline Spends Holiday Season with Troops
KABUL – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) left Afghanistan a few moments ago after visiting Rhode Islanders who are serving at Bagram Airfield and Camp Resolute Support. Cicilline’s visit to Afghanistan comes just days after meeting with members of the Armed Forces who are serving at United States Forces Korea headquarters and Camp Humphreys in Seoul, Korea; Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan; and Yokota Airbase in Tokyo, Japan.
“I was honored to spend time over the holidays with so many brave men and women who are serving our country overseas,” said Cicilline. “Every day, our troops demonstrate the very best of our American values. Their incredible courage, tremendous sacrifice, and unwavering service are an inspiration to us all. I’m extraordinarily grateful that I had the opportunity to thank some of our bravest this week, and I want to wish all those who are serving in uniform, their families, and their loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.”
Cicilline traveled to Afghanistan yesterday as part of a Congressional Delegation that included Congressmen Mike Coffman (R-CO), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and David Valadao (R-CA). The Rhode Island Congressman had the opportunity to thank members of the Armed Forces at Bagram Airfield before traveling to Camp Resolute Support for dinner with soldiers there.
During this visit, Cicilline, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also met with General John W. Nicholson, Jr., who is overseeing the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, as well as Major General John C. Thomson III, who serves as commanding general for the 1st Calvary Division and as Bagram Airfield commander. Cicilline also participated in briefings with U.S. Embassy personnel in Kabul.
While in Afghanistan, Cicilline had the opportunity to thank:
- Staff Sergeant Burt Comfort of Providence
- Command Sergeant Major Stephen Bodwell of Johnston
The past day's visit marks the end of a weeklong, holiday season effort Cicilline has undertaken to thank American troops serving thousands of miles from home. Last week, Cicilline met with troops in South Korea and Japan, and also took part in meetings and classified briefings with the senior military officials charged with protecting American security interests on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the Pacific Rim. These officials included:
- General Vincent K. Brooks; Commander, United States Forces Korea/United Nations Command/Republic of Korea-United States Combined Forces Command
- Lieutenant General Thomas S. Vandal; Commander, Eighth U.S. Army; Chief of Staff, United States Forces Korea/United Nations Command/Republic of Korea-United States Combined Forces Command
- Lieutenant General Lawrence D. Nicholson; Commander, III Marine Expeditionary Force
- Major General Robert F. Hedelund; Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea; Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy, United Nations Command/Republic of Korea-United States Combined Forces
- Major General James T. Walton; Director for Transformation & Restationing, United States Forces Korea
- Major General Joaquin F. Malavet; Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations Pacific
- Major General Charles G. Chiarotti; Deputy Commander, United States Forces Japan
While in the Pacific Rim, Cicilline also met with critical American allies, including Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn, Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, and officials from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Cicilline will return to Rhode Island this week.
(Captions for attached photos: Rep. Cicilline in Afghanistan with Staff Sergeant Burt Comfort of Providence and Command Sergeant Major Stephen Bodwell of Johnston; Rep. Cicilline after dinner with soldiers at Camp Resolute; Rep. Cicilline dining with soldiers at Camp Humphreys in South Korea)