Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) spent Christmas Day in the Middle East for the 5th consecutive Christmas visiting U.S. troops deployed in the CENTCOM Area of Operations and participating in several high level diplomatic and military meetings, discussing a wide range of topics including the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Iranian aggression, trade and more, in addition to several other troop engagements, including serving meals to the troops, passing out Christmas gifts from home, and delivering packages of Tate’s Cookies to deployed troops from the New York area.
Every Christmas since coming to Congress, Congressman Zeldin has led a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) of Members of Congress to the Middle East. This year, the CODEL is being co-led with Congressman David Cicilline (D, RI-1). Congressmen Zeldin and Cicilline are also joined by Representatives Max Rose (D, NY-11), Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-08), Susan Wild (D, PA-07), Dean Phillips (D, MN-03), Gil Cisneros (D, CA-39), and Aumua Amata Radewagen (R, AS-AL).
The CODEL’S first stops were Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and Naval Support Activity Bahrain. On Christmas Day, the CODEL made its third stop at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar where Congressman Zeldin joined the United Service Organizations (USO) in passing out Christmas gifts to deployed service members, and serving troops their holiday meal, including 106th Rescue Wing Airmen Eric VanDyne of Mattituck and David Amerson of Mastic. The 106th Rescue Wing is based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York.
“The service and sacrifice of these brave men and women are the reason we have the opportunity to spend Christmas day and every day safe and free with our loved ones,” said Congressman Zeldin. “We will never be able to adequately thank them for their service, but it was an honor to spend Christmas Day with our troops, including a few of the 106th’s own, to serve them their holiday meals and make sure they know how much we appreciate each and every one of them.”