KUWAIT CITY (WPRI) — Troops stationed overseas during the holidays received a surprise visit Monday from a group of House lawmakers led by Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline.

According to Cicilline’s office, he and seven other members of Congress spent the day with soldiers at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait to thank them for their service.

“The men and women of the United States Armed Forces are heroes,” Cicilline said. “We owe our service members and veterans an enormous debt of gratitude. It’s on all of us who serve in public office to honor their service with the resources and benefits they have earned.”

Cicilline, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, met with Rhode Island Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Max Silva who’s been deployed since July and works as the veterans’ affairs advocate for the congressman’s office.

Cicilline brought Silva gifts from his family and also delivered care packages to other Rhode Islanders stationed in the Middle East.

Cicilline’s office said while in Kuwait, he and his colleagues met with staff at the American embassy and were briefed on American foreign policy in the country. The group will spend the next few days visiting other countries in the region.

The following Congress members joined Cicilline for the trip:

  • Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-01), Foreign Affairs
  • Rep. Max Rose (D-NY-11), Homeland Security
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Foreign Affairs
  • Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-07), Foreign Affairs
  • Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03), Foreign Affairs
  • Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Armed Services
  • Rep. Aumua Amata Radewagon (R-AS-AL), Veterans’ Affairs