U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is back from a trip to Afghanistan as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
The weekend visit was meant to get her up to speed on happenings in the country and U.S. involvement there. Walorski spokesman Elizabeth Guyton, speaking Wednesday, April 24, dubbed it a “fact-finding and educational” trip.
“I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the current state of interagency cooperation, special operations and intelligence activities in Afghanistan,” Walorski said in a press release. “Visiting our troops in theater reinforces the urgent need for Congress to ensure our military is prepared to respond to threats around the globe and keep faith with service members and their families when they return home.”
The trip to Afghanistan was not related to the planned departure of U.S. troops from the nation in 2014, per a timetable negotiated by President Obama and Afghan officials, and Walorski’s office offered no comment on that. Walorski, in campaigning for the U.S. House last year, said Obama “showed his hand” in creating the 2014 timetable and that foreign policy under the Democrat has been “lax.”
Walorski, a Republican from the Elkhart area, and five other U.S. House members, some serving with Walorski on the Armed Services Committee, left for Afghanistan on Friday and returned Tuesday.
While in Afghanistan, Walorski and the others met diplomatic and military officials and “heard important updates from key leaders on military, civil, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism initiatives,” said Walorski’s press release. She also met Indiana servicemen and servicewomen now serving in Afghanistan and brought them care packages that included cooling neck wraps from the HUGS Project of Elkhart.
“She was able to meet and shake hands with Hoosier troops,” said Guyton.
Walorski and Rep. Bill Enyart, a Democrat from Illinois, were the only freshman lawmakers among the six U.S. House members — both Democrats and Republicans — who made the trip.
Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect that only some on the U.S. House delegation to Afghanistan, not all, belong to the House Armed Services Committee.