Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) traveled to Afghanistan last weekend as part of a six-member Congressional Delegation to meet with American civilian and military leadership, Afghan government officials and foreign allies. The delegation visited several regions of the country to discuss the situation on the ground, the challenges facing our service men and women, reconstruction efforts and the progress of the Afghan National Army and Afghan Police.
Congressman Lankford departed Washington, D.C., on Thursday, December 8 and returned on Monday, December 12. To ensure the safety and security of our military and all members of the delegation, information pertaining to the trip was kept private until the trip's completion. After arriving home, Congressman Lankford praised the dedication of American forces serving in Afghanistan.
"It was an honor to see firsthand how our professional and disciplined troops face tremendous dangers and stress," said Congressman Lankford. "They still have a great attitude and are committed to getting the job done. Our service members and civilians on the ground in Afghanistan have made amazing progress in a very difficult location. All over the country, we have seen major advances on the Taliban, and we are significantly strengthening the skills of the Afghan military and police. I visited service men and women on five different bases in Central and Southwestern Afghanistan, and I met Oklahomans from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. As we sat over meals in the base mess hall or leaned against a wall outside of an Afghan village, they wanted to talk about Bedlam football and news from Oklahoma. While the war surrounds them each day, their thoughts are always of home. We are a nation that is ready for the end of a long conflict. Our military warriors are equally ready to return home, but they are committed to finishing the fight so that the next generation does not have to return to this remote nation. I am extremely proud of their courage and dedication. I know many Oklahomans have family members and friends serving, and I pray with everyone each day for their safe and speedy return home."