"There's a lot of good humor," Daniels said by phone from Kuwait. "They've only been here seven or eight weeks, and maybe near the end of a year's deployment people will be in a slightly different mood.
"Daniels spent Monday and Tuesday in Iraq, visiting with Indiana's 76th Infantry Brigade, as well as active duty units containing Hoosier soldiers. Indiana has 4,133 National Guard members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the most of any state.
"They're really good at what they're doing, they're really proud of what they're doing, and every Hoosier should be, too," he said . . .
"Infrastructure's better," he said. "Still no garden spot, but definitely different. The level of violence is way down.
"Iraqi soldiers have worked in the southern city of Basra to eradicate insurgent militias and in the north, near Mosul, to get rid of members of al-Qaida in Iraq, Daniels said.
"There's a tentative sense of real excitement," Daniels said, "not only getting on top of the security situation, but that it's the Iraqis doing it."
Ronco says Daniels learned a new military acronym during his visit to Iraq. "I learned a new military acronym: SIGO. It means 'significant other,' " he said.