Pence makes solemn visit to Dover Air Force Base

Vice President Mike Pence pays his respects as U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Sgt. Eric Houck of Baltimore, Md. The Air Force Mortuary Affairs Office released this photo, which has been cropped here, on its website. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

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Locally, and nationally, Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Dover Monday did not seem to get much attention.

He came to Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer of three U.S. soldiers recently killed in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.

Vice President Pence held his hand over his hearts as an honor guard carried from a C-5M Galaxy the flag-draped transfer cases of 101st Airborne Division soldiers Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22, of Youngsville, North Carolina; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29, of Barstow, California; and Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore.

The families allowed the ceremony to be open to the media for photographs.

Last Saturday, Vice President Pence remarked on the casualties during a speech for the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C.

“We received a heartbreaking reminder of the risks that our service men and women face in the defense of freedom,” he said. “As I traveled to Wisconsin this afternoon (June 10), I was informed that three American soldiers were killed and one wounded in a terrible attack in Afghanistan.

“The Bible tells us that ‘no greater love has a man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends’ “Pence said. “Let me say from the heart, when heroes fall, Americans grieve. And tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these American heroes. We honor their service, their sacrifice, and we always will.”

Vice President Pence, who has a son serving with the U.S. Marines, told the Faith and Freedom audience that President Trump pledged to commit more funds and resources to the military and “restore the arsenal of democracy.”

The Taliban took credit for the attack, saying that one of its own had infiltrated the Afghan military.

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Today’s Opinion page includes a letter from Ian Janssen, whose brother Heath, was killed last year while he was working along Del. 1 in Little Heaven.

In a cover letter he sent with a letter he sent to Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn, Mr. Janssen wrote, “The attorney general’s office missed a valuable opportunity to address an aspect of opioid crisis that receives little attention, either from the state or the press. Victims of crimes committed by addicts, which was not accomplished in this case.

“With certainty, I can state that these sorts of crimes will reoccur, and just punitive measures are needed to address this problem. This appears not to be palatable in Delaware; resources continue to be poured into treating addicts although their victims receive paltry judicial remedy for the devastation caused.”

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A local tradition, the African American Festival, returns to Legislative Mall in Dover Saturday for its 27th year.

We’ll have more on that in advance of the event this week.

Eddie Holman, known for his 1970 hit “Hey There Lonely Girl” is the headliner.

 

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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