11/21/2018 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – As the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency is sending over 300,000 pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food to U.S. troops deployed overseas and at the southwest border this week, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, is urging President Trump to make a presidential trip to visit U.S. troops in a combat zone to thank them for their service.

Senator Reed has made 20 trips to Iraq and 17 to Afghanistan since 2003 to meet with U.S. forces, diplomats, and high-ranking foreign leaders and get a firsthand look at national security developments on the ground. 

There is a tradition of U.S. Presidents visiting troops overseas dating back to World War II.  However, the Washington Post cites former White House officials saying President Trump is hesitant to visit troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senator Reed stated:

“It would be good for President Trump and the nation if he started leading by example and doing more to honor our veterans and troops serving in harm’s way.  The President has many scheduling demands, but every prior President found time to visit our troops in active combat theaters.  Many regularly went to Dover Air Force Base to honor the return of fallen warriors.  It’s time for President Trump to step up and recognize that our troops put their lives on the line every day with unrelenting devotion to our country.    

“I encourage President Trump to talk to the men and women serving on the frontlines, look them in the eye, and listen to what they have to say.  As Commander-in-Chief, President Trump has committed these brave men and women to combat, and they are sacrificing and doing their best every day to carry out the mission. 

“Our troops look like America and represent the very best of our country.  They come from every community, every race and religion, and have diverse views.  But what unites them all is a sense of patriotism and professionalism.  President Trump has a duty to let them know that America is grateful for their service. 

“I strongly urge President Trump to start showing our troops the respect they deserve.  They chose to serve and he must choose to lead.”