Arizona governor Jan Brewer‘s sudden disappearance early this week caused a stir, and, while press learned the politician was in Afghanistan on a planned trip, they kept the story under wraps to protect the Republican’s security.
But now Jan Brewer is back on American soil and has started to discuss her experiences visiting troops in Kabul and her reasons for taking the secret trip. AZCentral.com spoke with Brewer about her visit after her no-show at a Monday election canvass.
The site reveals that Jan Brewer made the journey — which was “veiled in secrecy, at the invitation of the US Department of Defense” — after an October invite from the agency. Upon her return, Brewer spoke of her respect for those serving overseas, saying:
“It’s just really different to be over here and see the kinds of people that are serving our country … Only America’s finest young men and women, fathers and daughters and mothers. And they are very disciplined, and they are very courageous, and they are very proud of what they’re doing. And what a splendid job they’re doing — it’s just absolutely amazing. And it is a thing that I wish everybody could experience.”
During her time away from Arizona, Brewer met with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon before visiting wounded troops at Walter Reed. Describing the latter leg of the trip as “heartbreaking,” Brewer adds:
“It’s something that we hear about, or we might see on TV, but to be there and talk to them and see their spirit is just so, so encouraging that they are willing to give up what they have given up, and then to come back and be strong and then to be faithful to us … What a price America has paid. We have suffered great casualties and great injuries, and we must never, ever — in my opinion — ever forget it.”
The Arizona governor also says that while she was grateful for the opportunity, the gravity of the setting only really became apparent when her boots were on the ground. She explains:
“You know, I was so happy and so honored to be able to come, I don’t think the reality really set in with me until I got there … Then, I realized that it was the real deal, you know. We’re flying in helicopters, we have guns, guns hanging out the windows.”
Jan Brewer said she was “honored” to receive the opportunity.