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Quigley Returns Home from Iraq

Jul 30, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Cong. Mike Quigley (IL-5) returned home after a four-day Congressional Delegation (CODEL) trip to Iraq and the Middle East region. After only 100 days in office, Quigley wanted to travel to the warzone to gain firsthand knowledge of the frontlines and in order to make sure both the use of current resources and withdrawal from the region was strategic, expeditious, and transparent.

"It will be hard to wake up now and not think about those young men and women from my own state, who have been away from their families for years, facing gun fire and bombs on a daily basis," Cong. Quigley said. "It was a sobering experience, and I'll never forget it."

Throughout a rigorous schedule of tours and meetings, the CODEL examined the political and security environment in Iraq, assessed the progress of reconstruction efforts in the region, and expressed personal gratitude to the brave men and women deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, the CODEL examined the political and security environments in the region and assessed the progress of ongoing humanitarian relief efforts.

"I was deeply struck not just by the devastation in the region, but by the soldiers' unwavering dedication to establishing long-term stability in Iraq.  They stressed to me that they had to get it right, because they didn't want to go back after we withdraw. I told them they had my support, and they're coming home."

Quigley added that he also enjoyed talking with the troops who wanted an update on Chicago sports, but because he didn't have access to local news, wasn't able to share that the Cubs were currently in first place.

"I think that would've given them an extra boost of hope and inspiration," Quigley said.

Quigley traveled to the region with House colleagues, including Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA), Rep. Todd Platts (PA), Rep. Brian Higgins (NY), and Rep. Joe Courtney (CT).

Quigley will travel to Israel during the August recess for briefings on critical security and cooperation issues and opportunities.

Illinois Airmen

Quigley visiting with airmen from Illinois at a base near Baghdad

Rep. Quigley in Cockpit

Quigley in the cockpit of a C-130, flying from Kuwait to Baghdad

Lunch with soliders

Quigley getting to know troops from Illinois over lunch

Destroying Insurgent Weapons

Quigley helping to destroy weapons taken from or turned in by insurgents

With Colleagues

Reps. Quigley, Platts, Lynch, Courtney, and Higgins, with General Odierno at Al Faw Palace, Iraq

In Front of Helicopters

Rep. Quigley before boarding army helicopters