Senator Pat Roberts visits with Kansas Soldiers
January 20, 2011
- Sen. Pat Roberts met with Soldiers over lunch at Fort Riley to listen to their concerns and experiences.
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, visited with Soldiers who are citizens of Kansas during lunch at the Cantigny Dining Facility today. The visit followed the Division Headquarters Uncasing Ceremony and preceded a visit to the division headquarters building the same day.
Roberts, a native of Dodge City, spoke with Soldiers prior to sitting down and eating lunch with them. After introducing himself, he spoke of his experiences as a servicemember as well as how his experiences with the military have helped shape his decisions and efforts as a member of Congress.
"When I first came into the Senate in '96 there were 12 other Marines," Roberts said. "Now there's one. Me." He said that there has been a recent influx of former servicemembers into the House of Representatives lately, and that he thinks it helps give perspective when a member of Congress has served in the military.
After Roberts spoke to the Soldiers, he asked each one of them to introduce themselves and to share their experiences in the military. He also told them to ask any questions they may have and encouraged them to open and honest with him in their discussions with him.
The topics of the conversations ranged from high schools in the areas where Soldiers grew up to the decision-making process in Congress regarding the building of the Air Force's next tanker.
Each of the Soldiers in attendance had deployed in the past, with some having deployed as many as five times. Roberts asked questions about the deployments specifically asking the Soldiers opinion on whether they felt that they had made a difference during their deployment.
He also asked some of the Soldiers if they saw improvements in Iraq and Afghanistan when they returned to those countries for subsequent deployments.
Spc. Conrad Seyfried of 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment said that he had recently returned from a deployment.
"Do you think you made a difference'" Roberts asked Seyfried.
"Where we were at, sir, we made a difference," replied Seyfried.
"Good. Good. That's why you were there," said Roberts.
Roberts expressed appreciation for the work and sacrifices of the Soldiers, and mentioned efforts to improve the effectiveness of the abilities Soldiers bring to the battlefield. He encouraged them to continue to dialogue with him while they ate, and to feel free to address any subject they felt they wanted to talk about.