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Governor visits Flying Yankees in Afghanistan

Delaware Governor Jack Markell (left), Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy (middle), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (right) at the Pentagon on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, prior to the Governors' departure overseas. [Credit: Department of Defense]

Delaware Governor Jack Markell (left), Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy (middle), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (right) at the Pentagon on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, prior to the Governors' departure overseas. [Credit: Department of Defense]

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy poses to take a photo with Airmen from East Granby, Connecticut of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron, Connecticut Air National Guard, stationed at Bagram Airfield during his visit to Afghanistan on November 16, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Murray Jr/Released)

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy poses to take a photo with Airmen from East Granby, Connecticut of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron, Connecticut Air National Guard, stationed at Bagram Airfield during his visit to Afghanistan on November 16, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Murray Jr/Released)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy participated in a surprise overseas mission on November 16, visiting servicemembers from the 103rd Security Forces Squadron stationed in Afghanistan.

The governor also visited deployed 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron members November 17.

Governor Malloy travelled with Delaware Governor Jack Markell as part of the Governors Delegation Program to visit deployed servicemembers overseas.  Started in 2004, the program is part of a Department of Defense outreach effort that provides state governors with the opportunity to visit deployed National Guardsmen and Reservists in the field, while inspiring greater appreciation for their dedication and service to our nation.  The cost of this overseas trip was paid for by the Department of Defense.

The delegation left Washington, DC for Kuwait on Monday evening, Nov. 14, 2011.  Prior to departing, Governor Malloy visited the Pentagon to meet with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, where he received briefings about the trip and had a working lunch with senior defense officials.  Following the lunch, the group traveled to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to visit wounded soldiers.

"Visiting with the brave men and women from Connecticut and elsewhere who have selflessly put their lives on the line to defend our freedom and way of life is an honor and a privilege," Governor Malloy said.  "We've lost nine soldiers since I took office in January.  It is an unimaginable tragedy when someone gives their life to protect their country, but it's also heroic.  I wanted to go where these troops have to go, so I could tell them in person how grateful we are for their service, and how proud they make us.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to visit with them in Kuwait and will continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers until they all return home safely."

Information for this article was obtained from a press release out of the state of Connecticut Governor's office.