Senator Mike Rush (D-Boston), a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserves, returned home from his deployment to Iraq on Friday where he was serving in support of Operation New Dawn. Rush was mobilized in February 2011 and, upon completion of Combat Training, arrived in Iraq in March 2011.
While in Iraq, Rush, an Intelligence Officer, served with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP) and was assigned to a US Army Special Forces Military Transition Team working with Iraq Counter Terrorism Services, the Headquarters Command for Iraq Special Operation Forces (ISOF).
As Part of the Military Transition Team, LT Rush worked to train, advise and assist Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services in preventing terrorism in Iraq. The Military Transition Team worked with the Iraqi Officers in the targeting of many terrorist organizations throughout Iraq, whose sole goal was to kill American and Iraqi troops and civilians and disrupt the Government of Iraq.
“First and foremost I happy to be back with my family and friends to celebrate the holidays together,” said Rush. “As the New Year begins, I also look forward to spending time with the people of the Suffolk and Norfolk District as their State Senator.”
Senator Rush, soon after being elected the new Senator of the Suffolk and Norfolk District, received orders that he would be deployed to Iraq for a period of less than one year. Throughout his deployment his legislative staff at the State House carried on the functions of the office on behalf of the citizens of the Suffolk and Norfolk District.
“I was able to be in constant contact with my staff at the State House and entrusted them to be my voice on Beacon Hill during my absence,” said Rush. “They did a wonderful job keeping me informed and up to date with the happenings in the district as well as with the agenda of the Senate.”
“Most importantly, I want to thank Senator Rush for his service,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “Having a devoted and active reserve is essential to our military operations and the overall defense of our country. During Senator Rush’s deployment, my office communicated regularly with his staff on major legislation and issues concerning his district. I was also able to have conversations with the senator while he was in Iraq. I am extremely happy that he is home, safe and sound, and I look forward to having him back in the State House. We are all very proud of Senator Rush and grateful, as we are of all our servicemen and women, for his commitment to Massachusetts and the nation.”
It is not uncommon for legislators serving in the military to be called to active duty. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as many as 31 members of various state legislatures have been deployed to another country during the past two years.
“I want to thank family, friends, colleagues and supporters for the outpouring of support you gave to me, my family and my staff during the past year. I would also like to thank the hundreds of people, many of whom I have never met, who sent me letters and care packages overseas,” said Rush. “Your support made a difficult situation much easier for me and my family back home. I will be forever grateful.”