Governor Meets with Troops Serving in Iraq

Governor Meets with Troops Serving in Iraq

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(KSL News/AP) -- Gov. Jon Huntsman joined a delegation of U-S governors on a trip to Iraq to meet with troops and US and Iraqi officials.

Governor Huntsman is seeing first hand, what he calls 'a cauldron of violence'.

That's how he is describing the situation in Baghdad, where he and governors of New York, New Jersey and Oregon spent some time this week.

Governor Meets with Troops Serving in Iraq

Huntsman's spokesperson, Mike Mower, says the Governor's trip went well. He says Huntsman noticed the situation in the country was much more serious than it had been when he visited in March.

Huntsman began his trip in Kuwait and spent last night in Baghdad. He met with Utah National Guardsmen and full time military soldiers serving in Iraq.

He is scheduled to continue on to Afghanistan and to Germany, where he will visit troops recovering from injuries.

Governor Meets with Troops Serving in Iraq

The governors of New Jersey, New York and Oregon are also on the trip.

Eyewitness News plans to spoke with the Governor via satellite.

First off, the Governor expressed condolences to the family of Second Lieutenant Scott Lundell, who was killed in Afghanistan last Saturday.

Today, he talked to us about his observations in Iraq, where he spent Monday and Tuesday.

The Governor spoke to us out of Kuwait today. He says he'll travel through Afghanistan tomorrow. In Iraq, he describes the violence as 'better' in the countryside; 'worse' in Baghdad itself. He's comparing this trip to a similar journey he took in March. The focus of this trip, however, is the same: Visiting the dozens of Utah troops; bringing them gratitude on behalf of the state.

Governor Huntsman: "We've had thousands of people who have been rotated in and out of Iraq, and there will be more in the future. And I want them to know that the governor, and through me the citizens, are supportive of what they do and concerned about their well-being."

All find that a personal visit from them sparks a mix of gratitude and surprise.

The Governor has only travelled out of the country a few times since he took office, and already two of those trips have been to the theater of battle.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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