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Commander Jackson visits troops in Iraq.

National Commander Paul W. Jackson called his visit to U.S. troops in Iraq "one of the most inspiring experiences imaginable. Those brave men and women representing us over there make me very proud to be an American. They make us all very proud."

Jackson was among a special delegation of journalists and leaders from three other veterans' organizations invited by the Pentagon for a first-hand look at U.S. operations in Iraq. On the first leg of the journey, the delegation traveled to Kuwait, then on to Baghdad, Kirkuk, Taji and Balad in Iraq. While there, the group met with senior U.S. military officers, medical personnel and enlisted troops, as well as members of the Iraqi security forces. Jackson also visited with soldiers recuperating at two military field hospitals in Iraq.

In Baghdad, Commander Jackson met with Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq David Satterfield, Army Gen. George Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and other high-ranking officials.

"We got updates on the war and progress in rebuilding Iraq, which I found very informative. But the highlight of the trip was learning about the great medical care our injured troops received," Jackson said. "It is amazing how fast the injured can get immediate care on the spot, then get evacuated to a state-of-the-art medical facility in just a few minutes."

"Then as soon as they're able, they get flown to places like the Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, for more care. Then they're sent to hospitals in the States for more advanced treatment and rehabilitation--all within a matter of days of being injured in some cases," Jackson noted.

As Jackson met with U.S. military leaders in Iraq, he explained the DAV's purpose is assisting disabled veterans in obtaining the full range of benefits and services they have earned through their service and sacrifice. "I made a point of telling them that the DAV is committed to serving the men and women who might be injured or disabled in the war. And while it may be a tragedy 0that so many brave Americans will be eligible for membership in the DAV, we would certainly welcome them with open arms among our ranks," he said.
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Title Annotation:Paul W. Jackson
Publication:DAV Magazine
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:May 1, 2006
Words:368
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