Fort Hood: Vice president spends the morning with troops

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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) Vice President Mike Pence spent the morning Tuesday visiting with troops at Fort Hood before departing for Austin to attend a private luncheon.

Vice President Mike Pence posed with a group of soldiers. (Photo by Brandon Hamilton)

Early Tuesday morning Pence watched a live fire exercise and was shown some of the tanks and other equipment the soldiers used.

He then met for about 30 minutes with a group of transitioning soldiers before greeting more than a thousand troops waiting in a nearby hangar.

He talked to the soldiers about the weekend raid that led to the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and about the Trump administration's commitment to providing for the troops.

"Our troops, as the president said, are incredible and by taking out the leader of ISIS we've made measurable progress in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism," he said.

"But as the president made clear and all of you may know, the United States of America will never relent from our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and any terrorist organization that threatens our country."

Pence's visit came a week before the 10th anniversary of the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting rampage at the post's Soldier Readiness Center that left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

"Let me say on behalf of the American people the families of our fallen and all of the brothers and sisters in arms. The American people are with you. This nation will never forget or fail to honor the service of scarification of our heroes who fell on Nov. 5, 2009."

Pence arrived Monday night after starting the day in Baton Rouge, La., and spent the night on post.

Air Force Two touched down at around 8:30 p.m. at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Nearly 100 soldiers and their families were invited to greet him.

"It was an absolutely incredible experience, I've been at Fort Hood for two years now, but I'm leaving next week and it was just a great way to cap off my time at Fort Hood,” First Lt. Matt Hugenberg, said,

"As the plane was approaching we were just hoping we would get a chance to shake his hand," Hugenberg said.

"It was truly an incredible experience, it was well worth the wait and bearing the cold weather out there," Hugenberg said.