Monday, August 17, 2009

Senator Collins' blog- Mainers in Iraq

Senator Collins with members of the 101st Air Refueling Wing, from right to left: Senior Airman John Chambers (Old Town), Staff Sargent Stephanie Tracy (Bangor), Airman First Class Luc J. Marquis (Garland), Senior Airman Dwight Evans (St. Albans), Airman First Class Bill Burns (Bangor), and Lt. Col David R. Vashon (Waterville).

Mainers are everywhere.  In Iraq, the State Department security guard assigned to our group is Justin Alderman, a former Portland police officer who grew up in Scarborough and has a home in Windham. At the embassy is Kim DeCesare , the deputy chief of protocal, who is from Kezar Falls.

Serving on a provincial reconstruction team and working on rule of law issues in Diyala Province is Jon Nass, an attorney from York County. Jon worked several years on my staff in Washington, and I am delighted to see him again.

And tonight I had dinner at Sather Air Base in Baghdad with seven National Guard members from Maine.  And is it ever a small world -- one of them is Bill Bruns whose parents I know in Bangor. I remembered that Bill had sent me a military unit coin prior to his deployment a couple of months ago.

I am delighted to see all of these great Mainers serving our country.

I spent most of the day in Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq - more on that in the next post.

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