On Guard

America’s military is the pride of our nation and the guardian of our precious freedom.  Of the three Army components, Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve, it is the National Guard that bears the primary responsibility for response to domestic challenges when local or state authorities need additional help, whether from natural calamities, like severe storms or forest fires, or from large-scale confrontations caused by out-of-control humans with intent to do harm.  It is in anticipation of the latter, both possible conflict targeting the inauguration in D.C., as well as related upheaval around state capitals across the nation, that has resulted in the arrival of a substantial Guard show of force in all locations that officials fear may be threatened by large groups of violent extremists.

In Washington, D.C. alone, the Army Secretary has authorized as many as 20,000 Guard troops (more if deemed needed), who have been arriving, from at least 30 different states around the nation, via Air National Guard airlift, as well as by military trucks and buses.  Guard troops will be available to assist local police units (and the secret service) with “security, logistics, and communications.”  Said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy: “The governors and adjutant generals have been great. They helped us a lot. That’s the thing. That in the midst of a really horrible situation, you’re seeing the greatness of this country, everybody coming together to help each other get through this.”

Also authorized: the arming of Guard soldiers on duty in D.C.  “National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the Capitol and individual members of congress and their staff, according to the National Guard Bureau (as authorized by the Secretary of the Army).”

And there to assist our Capitol-deployed Guard men and women, as always, and everywhere, the great USO! Set up at three different sites around the Capitol Building, USO mobile units and personnel are providing “a variety of grab-and-go snacks, coffee, drinks, and hygiene items for the troops when they have a break.”  Said USO mobile operations manager Angela Hodge: “Everyone is stopping by the table and thanking the staff. They have expressed that they are grateful that every time they deploy, we are alongside them.”  Commented one unidentified service member, speaking no doubt for the many: “It is such a warm welcome when we see the USO pull up.  You always bring something good and lift our spirits.”

All rational and caring Americans truly hope this show of strength by our National Guard, assisting local and federal police officers, will be enough to eliminate any planned violent, disruptive, non-peaceful demonstrations on the part of any groups that had been planning to carry out such acts, both at, or near, the Capitol for the inauguration, as well as within any of our fifty state capitals.  And with that hope for civility and calm, comes the equal hope that our Guard members deployed for civilian protection and safety, in D.C. and around the nation, along with all law enforcement members and first responders, may be kept safe from harm in the midst of any adverse aggressive actions.  Politics and divisions aside, now and forever, may our great nation remain safe and free for all of our citizens.


(Army Guard assistance data via militartytimes.com, staff and wire reports, 1-14-21; Army Secretary quote via militarytimes.com, Lolita C. Baldor, 1-17-21; Army Guard armed quote via militarytimes.com, staff and wire reports, 1-14-21;  USO quotes via militarytimes.com, Karen Jowers, 1-17-21).