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Governors Nixon and Quinn in Iraq

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, accompanied by Brig. Gen. Gerald Lang
(U.S. Army photo/Sgt. Frank Vaughn)
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, accompanied by Brig. Gen. Gerald Lang

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Governors Jay Nixon of Missouri and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn are visiting troops stationed in Iraq and Kuwait.

In a conference call with reporters, Nixon indicated that life after deployment is on the minds of many service members.

"With the unemployment rate up, they're concerned about what happens when they come home. They're also asking about their family members; they are interested in making sure that they can transition back," Nixon said.

The centerpiece of the trip was a town hall meeting with troops in Basra, which included Nixon and the governors of Minnesota and Nevada.

Governor Quinn attended a separate town hall meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Nixon also told reporters that he hopes to expedite the return of some of the heavy equipment used by the Missouri National Guard.

"As the troop withdrawals begin here and as equipment is moved out, we in the Missouri National Guard are going to be making a strong pitch to get some of that equipment back to Missouri so that we can uptick our emergency management," Nixon said.

When asked who's footing the bill for the trip, Nixon told reporters that he would discuss that when he gets back.

For security reasons, Nixon would not specify which combat units he's met with, or when he'll be returning to Missouri.