Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence surprised troops in Iraq on Saturday. The Pences arrived with a Thanksgiving feast. It was Pence's first trip to Iraq as vice president, although he visited the country when he was a congressman.
According to CBS News, the Pences arrived at the Al-Asad Air Base, roughly 100 miles outside of Baghdad, around noon local time. The vice president received a briefing from the base's commanding officer and then had a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
The Pence's then shared a Thanksgiving meal with troops stationed at Al-Asad. Their feast included turkey, ham, corn on the cob, yams and macaroni and cheese.
As the service members came up to receive their plates, the Pences thanked each person for their service.
"The president and your vice president and the American people are behind you 100 percent," Pence said. He also mentioned the military pay raise, "the biggest one in nine years," that's in the budget that's currently sitting before Congress.
He said the Trump administration is "fighting to secure another pay raise for the men and women in the military."
"Congress should have finished their work months ago but you know that partisan politics and endless investigations have slowed things down, " Pence said.
BREAKING: Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to Iraq to reassure Kurdish allies and greet troop ahead of Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/nvhUSK1YQl— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) November 23, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving from Iraq. @SecondLady and I are so honored to be with our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines here in Iraq! We are so proud of you and thankful for you all! pic.twitter.com/bzcM1fGgiG— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 23, 2019
Here at Al Asad Air Base, you prove every day what the world knows: The Armed Forces of the United States are the greatest force for good the world has ever known. ???????? pic.twitter.com/aBxFMZ8ezQ— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 23, 2019
After feeding the troops, Pence met with Iraqi President Nechirvan Barzani.
It was an honor to meet with President Barzani in Erbil on behalf of @realDonaldTrump today to reiterate the strong bonds forged in the fires of war between the United States and Kurdish people across this region. pic.twitter.com/ctHNBIdxlD— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 23, 2019
I’m honored to welcome the Vice President of the United States and my friend @VP to Erbil. His timely visit underlines our strong friendship and strategic partnership. I reiterated my appreciation for the U.S. support to the Kurdistan Region during challenging times. pic.twitter.com/jllBfiDpBE— Nechirvan Barzani (@IKRPresident) November 23, 2019