BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Middle East holds a giant chunk of the world’s energy, is home base to a number of Islamic terrorist groups and generates some of the biggest headaches for politicians worldwide.
It also where hundreds of West Virginia service men and women are advising regional police and military forces on operations and tactics to fight ISIS, Al Qaida and other terrorist groups.
Back in her Capitol Hill office last week, Capito said it wasn’t shaking hands with leaders that was the highlight of her trip, but sitting down with West Virginia’s service men and women.
She described the service members as “talented and strong,” many of whom have served multiple deployments.
She met Mountaineers in Kabul, Afghanistan, and at a Forward Operation based in the same country where members of the Army and Navy were serving as advisers and trainers, Capito said.
The West Virginians told Capito their mission is dangerous and the U.S. is not as removed as many believe it is, she recalled. “Meeting with West Virginians serving in Afghanistan was such an honor and I have the utmost gratitude and respect for their service and sacrifices,” Capito said.
The conversations weren’t all fact-finding with the service members. “We also talked a little West Virginia at the same time,” she said. The solders long for the hills and hollows of their home state, but understand the vital mission in keeping the U.S. safe.
Capito said after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, the U.S. can no longer have an isolationist attitude concerning global affairs…