Pa. state lawmaker returns from combat tour

    A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who was serving in the military in Iraq has returned. Freshman Republican Nick Miccarelli spent just a few weeks in the House before heading to southern Iraq with the Pennsylvania National Guard. He served as a tail gunner in a Blackhawk helicopter.

    A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who was serving in the military in Iraq has returned.

    Listen:
    [audio: 20091218sdiraq.mp3]

    Freshman Republican Nick Miccarelli spent just a few weeks in the House before heading to southern Iraq with the Pennsylvania National Guard. He served as a tail gunner in a Blackhawk helicopter.

    Addressing the chamber on his first day back, Micarelli said he and Cumberland County Republican Scott Perry, who’s also in the Guard’s 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, learned a lot about life’s contrasts.

    Micarelli: And Scott and I would go from laughing in the chow hall and arguing politics to hiding in bunkers hoping that the rockets didn’t land too close. This chamber, we legislate in peace, while in Iraq government buildings are routinely blown up by car bombs.

    House Minority Leader Sam Smith says he thought a lot about Miccarelli during the tour – even though sometimes it was just because he missed that extra vote. Perry is still in Iraq. He’s scheduled to come back over the next few months.

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