County lawmakers help deliver gifts to troops

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 13, 2001

Two area lawmakers won’t be traveling by sleigh, but they willbe carrying holiday wishes and gifts to troops stationedoverseas.

Dist. 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett and Dist. 39 Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smithwere joining Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, Mississippi National Guard Maj.Gen. James Lipscomb and other guard leaders today on the trip tovisit troops in Bosnia. Other state lawmakers on the trip are Sen.Neely Carlton and Rep. Tom Cameron, both of Greenville.

“We’re taking cargo and Christmas gifts to our Mississippitroops,” Barnett said.

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The entourage was scheduled to leave Jackson Thursday at 11 a.m.and go to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to pick up U.S. Rep.Gene Taylor. The group was to fly to Germany and then on to Tuzla,Bosnia, Hyde-Smith said.

“We’ll only be on the ground 28 hours in Bosnia,” Hyde-Smithsaid.

While there’s a bit of a role reversal in Musgrove’s taking acopy of the Jackson newspaper to his carrier, Barnett’s missionalso involves his carrier Plez Summers.

Barnett is taking some homemade candy to Summers’ son Trey, whois among 421 Mississippi guardsmen from the 155th InfantryBattalion based in McComb, stationed in Bosnia. The soldiers arepart of a United Nations peacekeeping force that arrived inSeptember.

In addition to newspapers, the cargo of guard goodies includessome other popular periodicals from back home.

“I’m taking copies of Mississippi Outdoors magazine to a bunchof them,” said Barnett, who is vice-chairman of the House MilitaryAffairs Committee.

Lawmakers and guard leaders will be flying on a C-141Starlifter.

“We’re going at our own expense,” Barnett said. “I don’t wantanyone to think this is state-funded.”

Lawmakers will get a glimpse of military conditions as they sitnear the cargo during the “no-frills” overnight trip. Hyde-Smithjoked that she was looking forward to the entertainment.

“I hear they have great in-flight movies,” the senator said.

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the state Sunday whileMusgrove will go on South Korea of an economic developmenttrip.