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Holcomb visits Indiana National Guard soldiers in Kenya

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he traveled to Kenya this week to show his appreciation to Indiana National Guard soldiers serving overseas there.

More than a hundred Hoosier guardsmen have been stationed in the east African nation for most of this year. And Holcomb said he wanted his visit to help bring awareness to their service.

“When you're gathering around Thanksgiving dinner table with your family and friends and loved ones, if you feel so inclined, include them on your prayer list because they're in a pretty hot place in the world, in more ways than one,” Holcomb said.

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Indiana National Guard leader Maj. Gen. Dale Lyles is on the trip with Holcomb and acknowledged the “very, very volatile international security environment.” But he said that doesn’t translate to heightened tension for the guardsmen.

“The soldiers that are serving at Camp Simba right now are focused on their mission at hand, and that's to help rid this particular region of the world of the violent extremist organizations that are seeking to undermine the freedom of Kenya,” Lyles said.

The Indiana soldiers are due to return home next year.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.