Governor McDonnell visits Virginia Guard Soldiers in Afghanistan

Gov. Bob McDonnell presents a Virginia flag that flew over the state capitol to Capt. Rodney Rhodes, commander of the 1710th Transportation Company, July 25, 2013, during his trip to Afghanistan to meet with Virginia troops. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rochelle Krueger, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Gov. Bob McDonnell presents a Virginia flag that flew over the state capitol to Capt. Rodney Rhodes, commander of the 1710th Transportation Company, July 25, 2013, during his trip to Afghanistan to meet with Virginia troops. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rochelle Krueger, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell met with deployed U.S. service members serving in Afghanistan, July 25. His stop at Kandahar Airfield included a visit with Virginia National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company.

The 1710th provides sustainment support to the war fighters in Afghanistan’s southern region. McDonnell, a 21-year Army veteran and father of a daughter who deployed to Iraq, said he was proud of the Guardsmen and wanted to personally thank them for the service and sacrifices they make, especially as they traverse throughout the country’s dangerous routes.

“You are a terrific unit,” said McDonnell, as he addressed the troops who stood before him. “You’re a long way from home; you’re doing tough, but very important work to resupply some of the people on the front lines.”

McDonnell added that the Emporia, Va., based transportation company is among the 9,000 Guardsmen who’ve served since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of what you are doing,” McDonnell continued. “In most of the previous wars, there was a draft, but this war in Afghanistan (includes) an all volunteer (U.S.) Army. You soldiers enlisted or reenlisted knowing that you would be put in harms way; you still chose to do this anyway. To me that is the best that America has to offer—an all volunteer service.”

As a token of appreciation for the 1710th’s efforts in Afghanistan, the governor presented the “Ghost Riders” Company Commander, Capt. Rodney Rhodes, with a flag that was flown over state capital, Richmond.

“Thank you for all that you have done in Afghanistan, and for what’s still to come” he said, as he thanked Rhodes and his soldiers for their leadership.

“It’s a real incredible honor for me as your governor.”

McDonnell travelled to Afghanistan with Montana’s Governor, Steve Bullock, who also visited with his hometown Troops serving at Kandahar Airfield.

Story by Spc. Rochelle Krueger, 3rd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

—–

View more photos on the 3rd Sustainment Brigade Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151537629011762.1073742066.92557546761