Chambliss Meets Troops at Fort Stewart - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/15/03

Chambliss Meets Troops at Fort Stewart

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

Soldiers don't always get the chance to have their concerns heard by our country's leaders, but many got that opportunity today at Fort Stewart when they met with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). They talked about many topics, from the length of deployments to the conditions for soldiers in Iraq and here at home.

1st Lt. Erin Scheu never imagined she'd get a face-to-face lunch with a US senator. But today, she and others had their chance to talk issues with Chambliss. "I'm glad that the people that we elect are out there looking out for us," she said. "We pay our tax money just like they do."

Chambliss is a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, and raised concerns when Fort Stewart soldiers were retained in their service in Iraq.

"We don't need to make commitments to them that we can't live up to, and unfortunately in the case of the Third ID, we made a commitment on three different occasions to bring them home, and then we had to back out of each one of those commitments," he told us.

Over a lunch of ribs and beans he listened to soldiers' tales of their Baghdad march and concerns over Army life here at home. Chambliss took time to visit Warriors' Walk, where fallen Third ID soldiers are remembered, but he says the highlight was a gift from a soldier of 250 dinars in Iraqi money. He says the picture of Saddam is nice, he just hopes the soldiers can get the real thing soon.

Chambliss has had meetings like this with military personnel around the state to find out what their government can do to improve conditions for them. He's addressing everything from living conditions to how their fellow soldiers killed in the war are remembered. He also noted that the performance of the division gives him more ammunition when base closure discussion come in 2005 for keeping Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield open.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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