U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), will spend New Years with members of the Oklahoma 45th who are currently deployed to Afghanistan.
A year ago, Inhofe spent New Years with members of Oklahoma’s 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) who at that time were working with Afghanis in Gardez.
On this trip, Inhofe will hand deliver letters and cards to the troops that were written by 602 Pre-K through 5th grade students at Grove Valley Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma. Grove Valley Elementary is in the Deer Creek School District.
“It is an honor to spend New Years with our troops in Afghanistan again this year,” said Inhofe. “Our men and women in uniform and their families sacrifice so much to protect our nation and defend our freedoms. The Christmas and New Years times are especially difficult times to be deployed. It will be such a privilege to deliver these letters that were written by the students at Grove Valley Elementary. Those letters mean so much more this time of year. I appreciate what a difference Principal Straughn is making in the lives of her students, and through these letters her positive influence will be reaching around the world. The members of Oklahoma’s 45th IBCT have been doing a great job securing and clearing a very difficult area of Afghanistan, and I look forward to seeing our brave Oklahomans once again while getting an update on the ground.”
Principal Debbie Straughn said, “Grove Valley Elementary was honored to design cards for the men and women who sacrifice so much for all of us in the United States. At a recent assembly I talked to the children about making cards for troops overseas. I explained to them that these men and women wouldn’t be able to be with their families during the holidays. It would be a difficult Christmas without loved ones.
"Therefore, as a school we could brighten their holidays by sending them some cheer from students in Edmond, Oklahoma. Children were very excited about the project. They skyped with Senator Inhofe two years ago when I testified before an EPW committee hearing in Washington. The children remember Senator Inhofe and wanted to help him deliver good tidings from Oklahoma children who wish our troops well!”
In October, Inhofe took a congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan that included a stop to visit Oklahoma troops there. Since being deployed in late July 2010, the 45th IBCT has lost 14 soldiers. During the October visit, Inhofe visited Oklahoma 45th troops at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Gamberi and Bagram Air Base and delivered the first FIDO NXT to Afghanistan that helps combat Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).