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Oklahoma lawmakers Lankford, Russell visit soldiers in Ukraine

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and Congressman Steve Russell visit troops with the Oklahoma Army National Guard stationed in Ukraine. (Office of Senator James Lankford)

Two Oklahoma lawmakers spent Veterans Day weekend with some Oklahomans serving overseas.

Senator James Lankford and Congressman Steve Russell visited with members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade currently stationed in Ukraine.

“The men and women of the Oklahoma Army National Guard continue to set the standard and provide invaluable assistance to the Ukrainian military,” said Lankford. “I can think of no better way to spend Veterans Day weekend than to spend it with the members of the 45th. Our fellow Oklahomans are helping the people of Ukraine defend themselves from Russian occupation. The people of Ukraine are incredibly grateful and the families of the 45th and all of our state should be incredibly proud.”

The lawmakers left for the trip on Nov. 9 and returned to Washington Monday.

Aside from meeting with National Guard members, Lankford and Russell also met with Ukrainian leadership to talk security in the region.

“We are thankful to our Oklahoma National Guardsmen who serve around the globe making our world safer," said Russell. "It was an honor to visit them with Senator Lankford. Our efforts in Ukraine are vital to the defense of eastern Europe and the security of the entire region. We look forward for when the 45th's 279th Infantry comes home later this year.”

Russell and Lankford also made a stop at NATO headquarters in Belgium before returning to the United States. There, they met with NATO and US Embassy staff to discuss Russia's influence and activity in Ukraine.

The Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade are stationed in Ukraine to support a training mission with Ukrainian security forces.

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