Across the state and around the nation our governors are doing what they can to fight the good fight against the coronavirus. When the Secretary of Defense stood down travel for Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force personnel, he didn’t apply that standard to our hometown soldiers and airmen in the National Guard.

Across America and in our four U.S. territories, some 500,000 members of the National Guard are ready to answer the call of governors or the president.

Thus far, members of the National Guard have answered the call to fight the coronavirus and they are in the line of fire. They are staffing drive-thru test facilities alongside those medical  personnel administering tests for the virus.

Governors in several states have shut down the cities and towns in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. They have asked residents to stay at home. Many cities  appear to be ghost towns. Only essential travel and trips are authorized in many states.

Citizen soldiers and Airmen are answering the call of the governors. They are helping food banks process grocery supplies, too. They make sure our seniors in need get the food they need. Why? Food bank workers aren’t able to get to work and have stayed home. So, up steps the National Guard.

Adjutant Generals (usually 2-star generals) are  responsible for the training, equipping, and readiness of Guard members. Their joint headquarters process requests  for Guard resources in concert with their state’s emergency management teams. Simultaneously, Guard members are also deploying or deployed with a federal mission in the Middle East or around the globe.

Governors have relied on members of their respective Guard units for over 350 years. They drop bails of alfalfa from trucks and planes to feed starving cattle trapped in a blizzard, fight fires, rescue our friends and neighbors off roof tops during flooding, fly life-saving missions to transport patients to emergency care, and convoys bring food and water to families. The Guard also provides security of airports, bridges, and essential facilities. You name it, the Guards has alway stepped up on the home front.

Internationally, the Guard are combatants and peacekeepers. They are almost half of America’s combatant forces. They hold almost every specialty (job) that their counterparts in the Active Army and Air Force possesses. They have had many wounded since the Global War on Terrorism began and too many lost their lives leaving family and friends behind.

Guard members are citizen soldiers. They may be a teacher, banker, medical professional, attorney, plumber, carpenter, or work for a city. They are willing to perform state missions under the control of their governor or federal missions at the call of the president. They are soldiers and not politicians. They go into harm’s way because they signed up to defend a nation, our cities and towns.

I guess you can say they lead double lives. At home they are moms and dads, uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters. In uniform they are fearless. Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, and combat tours are all in a day’s work.

These dedicated professionals aren’t paid a fortune, they earn a day’s pay for a day served. They are separated from their families while protecting and serving yours. Guard members personify what is to be an American.

Next time you see a member of your National Guard thank the men and women who serve you. They come from all walks of lives, all nationalities, genders, and many are first generation Americans. They love their country and states. They are doing what the Guard has done for over 350 years — answer the call.

Image Sources

  • National guard building makeshift hospital in Indio: Facebook