Gov. Rick Perry today met with Texas troops while on a trip to Iraq hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Perry also presented Iraq Campaign Medals to six Texas guardsmen during a ceremony today in Iraq. Also on the DOD trip are Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

Gov. Rick Perry’s statement on meeting with Texas troops:
“We are here visiting our troops in the combat zone to let them know we support and appreciate them. Hopefully this visit will remind our citizens of the remarkable job our young men and women are doing overseas as we finish the job of institutionalizing freedom where it was once only a dream.

“I am encouraged by the progress here on the ground and am hopeful that we will uphold our commitment to the people of Iraq while ensuring they are prepared to maintain order. Compared to conditions when I visited here two years ago, it feels much safer, more orderly and farther along the path to liberty than before.

“I am especially proud of the Texans who are serving here.

Whether they were born in the Lone Star State or got there as quickly as they could, they are representing us well. I have met Texans from everywhere from El Paso to Texarkana, and every last one of them is committed to their team, the mission and their country. They are truly an inspiration and a credit to our state.”

For photos of the trip and sound bites of Gov. Perry in Iraq speaking about his time with the troops please visit