Soldiers talk economics, current events with Texas Senator

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks to soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during his visit to Fort Hood.

U.S. Army/Spc. Angel Turner

A group of soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, had the opportunity to meet Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during a luncheon at the Operation Iraqi Freedom Dining Facility on July 2.

“My top priority in office is economics and restoring it,” Cruz said. “Economics and growth are vital for everything else to have chance. If we don’t have growth, we won’t succeed on anything. What I’m trying to do every day is work with anyone who is willing to work together.”

Cruz asked the soldiers questions on various topics to include the unit’s current mission in Afghanistan and their views on current issues such as the nation’s budget, military affairs and job security.

“It takes more creative thinking on the leaders’ part in order to be more efficient using the equipment on hand to accomplish the mission,” said Capt. Ben Agnor, the brigade’s rear detachment operations officer.

“It is possible to accomplish the mission with equipment on hand; we just have to be more disciplined in the way we use those resources,” he said.

Soldiers expressed their concerns and offered solutions they thought may help for both soldiers and civilians.

“The economy is one of the biggest issues on people’s minds I would say,” said Staff Sgt. Jaime Espinoza, an intelligence analyst.

“I’ve had multiple soldiers get out (of the military) and were unable to get a job. I tell them to weigh the pros and cons,” Espinoza said. “When transitioning into the civilian world they have to ask themselves ‘What’s going to be out there for me?’”

The visit to Fort Hood was Cruz’s first visit to the Army installation since taking office six months ago and soldiers said they felt honored to be selected to eat with him.

“I enjoyed it,” Espinoza said. “It’s nice to be able to talk to someone up there and see their point of views and have him listen to ours. And also take into account what we have to say and how we feel.”

Following the luncheon, Cruz visited other units at Fort Hood. Before he departed, he thanked the group of “Long Knife” soldiers for their service.

“Thank you for joining me for lunch and putting yourself in harm’s way,” Cruz said. “I’m grateful for your service.”

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