Four Governors to Visit Middle East Over Thanksgiving

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Four governors will travel to the Middle East over the Thanksgiving holiday to visit with troops and meet with senior military and political leaders, Pentagon and State Department officials said Tuesday.

Specifics of the trip — including whether or not they will go to Iraq — were not being released because of security reasons.

The four governors — Democrat Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Republican Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Republican Sonny Perdue of Georgia and Democrat Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas — were meeting Tuesday with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Deployments to support the War on Terror have a significant impact on the states from which the soldiers come," said Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, adding that the governors will be able to spend substantial time with troops from their states. He said they will "get a sense of the impact those constituents have in the global war on terror."

The 155th Armored Brigade from Mississippi, is attached to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, and the 48th Brigade Combat Team from Georgia is serving in Baghdad.