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Marino back from Afghanistan

By Fritz Mayer
March 29, 2011

Congressman Tom Marino returned from a week-long trip to Afghanistan on March 25, saying that U.S. troops are still needed there. Marino, who ran as a fiscal conservative and defeated Chris Carney in the election last November, said that the U.S. dollars that are flowing into the country are well-spent.

He met with a gathering of constituents, veterans and the media Friday afternoon at the Lycoming Memorial U.S. Army Reserve Center in Williamsport.

He told the group that he has always been a staunch supporter of the military and national defense and said the trip “cemented” his beliefs. “I feel confident that what we are spending is being used wisely,” Marino said.

He said that U.S. military forces were also still needed in Iraq, where the population relies on them for training and advice.

Marino, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees, was part of a four-member congressional delegation that toured the two countries.

During the trip, the lawmakers met with military and civic leaders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to discuss the training and equipping of combat forces, combat operations, reconstruction efforts and the training of Afghan and Iraqi security forces.

They spent a majority of their time alongside the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and Marino described them as “by far, the best in the world—a first-class, top-notch fighting force,” yet a “compassionate group of volunteers.”

Citing the advances the U.S. forces have made in breaking up the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the splinter terrorist groups, Marino said that when he tucks in his children at night he can rest assured that they are safe from terrorism.