Gov. Tim Pawlenty continued his Middle Eastern trip Friday by visiting troops and military leaders in Afghanistan.

Pawlenty visited the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air Guard based in Minneapolis, which transports personnel, cargo and equipment. Pawlenty and other governors in the group also met with wounded soldiers at Bagram Hospital.

Pawlenty also dined with Minnesota soldiers from the Fort Snelling-based 372nd Engineering Brigade and the 133rd Airlift Wing from Minneapolis.

“We are grateful for the sacrifice, commitment and patriotism of the brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “It is an honor to look them in the eye and say ‘thank you’ for their service on behalf of all Minnesotans.”

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