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Boozman travels to

Asia, Africa, Europe

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. John Boozman traveled to three continents during the Memorial Day recess, returning to the Capitol on Monday after visiting troops in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Republican from Rogers traveled with U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the senior member of the Armed Services Committee.

Their itinerary took them to Poland, where they discussed security threats posed by Russia. From there, they went to Italy, Kuwait and Afghanistan, where they heard about the Taliban.

Next up was Africa, with stops in Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti, where troops from Little Rock Air Force Base are stationed.

After a brief stop in Spain, they headed back for another week on Capitol Hill.

Boozman, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, said the information he gained was useful.

"Really the purpose of all of these visits is to make sure the troops are getting the things they need to keep them safe and to do their mission and also [to] thank our soldiers for the great work they're doing," he said.

On all three continents, Boozman was able to visit with fellow Arkansans, he said.

"I got to tell them how much we appreciate them, how much the people of Arkansas are proud of them and the mission they're doing," he said.

"We talked about the jobs that they were doing and also the Razorbacks, their families and really just had a good time. "

Candidate at event

on political power

Chintan Desai, a Democrat running for the House of Representatives in Arkansas' 1st Congressional District, attended Impact Summit 2018 on Thursday, sponsored by the Indian American Impact Project.

The daylong meeting in Washington focused on "how to build political power in the Indian American community and help talented and patriotic Indian Americans run, win, and lead," according to the organization's website.

Desai, 29, the son of Indian immigrants, said the trip was worthwhile.

"I certainly got a lot out of it in terms of connections and initial meetings with organizations," the Helena-West Helena educator said.

On Wednesday, Desai had meetings with U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and with former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who, at age 32, unseated incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Alexander in 1992.

Desai is challenging U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican from Jonesboro.

Lincoln recommended a heavy dose of retail politics, he said.

"Ultimately, if people don't see you [and] they don't hear you ... talking about the issues directly in front of them, then it's just not going to be successful," he said. "People need to see who I am and that I can empathize with their pain and the things that they care about."

Hill reaches out to

Holocaust survivor

Fred Hilsenrath, who came to America after surviving the Holocaust, gets choked up when he talks about the honor he recently received.

Earlier this year, Hilsenrath's story was shared on the House floor by U.S. Rep. French Hill, a Republican from Little Rock. Afterward, Hill mailed the Fairfield Bay retiree the speech as it had appeared in the Congressional Record.

Hilsenrath was unaware that he'd been the subject of a Capitol Hill speech until he opened the envelope.

"I had no idea," Hilsenrath, 89, said. "He touched me deeply and my wife was in tears."

Hilsenrath, a German Jew, was 4 years old the year Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany. His family fled east to Romania, but eventually, fascism found them there as well.

They were hauled away in train cars and forced to live in a camp in a German-occupied portion of the Soviet Union.

In 1944, Russian troops liberated them. Once the war was over, Hilsenrath and his mother walked to France.

In 1950, he immigrated to the United States, earning degrees from City University of New York and Stanford University.

He went on to become an engineer, working for companies such as Lockheed and IBM.

After retiring at age 72, he moved from California to Arkansas. He wrote a book about his experiences, titled, "The Story I Was Reluctant to Tell: My Personal Holocaust Memories."

When invited, he shares his memories with audiences too young to remember the horrors of the Holocaust.

"I talk about this story in many churches, organizations, high school auditoriums," he said. "They keep me busy."

Planning to visit the nation's capital? Know something happening in Washington, D.C.? Please contact Frank Lockwood at (202) 662-7690 or Want the latest from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Washington bureau? It's available on Twitter, @LockwoodFrank.

SundayMonday on 06/10/2018

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