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Holcomb visits Indiana National Guard soldiers in Kenya

Eric Holcomb sits at a long picnic table with members of the Indiana National Guard. Holcomb is a White man with white and gray hair and beard, wearing a black polo shirt. The National Guard soldiers sitting next to and across from him are all in military fatigues.
Courtesy of the governor's office
Gov. Eric Holcomb shared a meal with members of the Indiana National Guard stationed at Camp Simba in Kenya.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he traveled to Kenya this week to show his appreciation to Indiana National Guard soldiers serving overseas there.

More than a hundred Hoosier guardsmen have been stationed in the east African nation for most of this year. And Holcomb said he wanted his visit to help bring awareness to their service.

“When you're gathering around Thanksgiving dinner table with your family and friends and loved ones, if you feel so inclined, include them on your prayer list because they're in a pretty hot place in the world, in more ways than one,” Holcomb said.

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Indiana National Guard leader Maj. Gen. Dale Lyles is on the trip with Holcomb and acknowledged the “very, very volatile international security environment.” But he said that doesn’t translate to heightened tension for the guardsmen.

“The soldiers that are serving at Camp Simba right now are focused on their mission at hand, and that's to help rid this particular region of the world of the violent extremist organizations that are seeking to undermine the freedom of Kenya,” Lyles said.

The Indiana soldiers are due to return home next year.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.