To use a hackneyed expression, I am so saddened, perplexed and exasperated that I could spit nails!
On March 19, 1954, my 17th birthday, I enlisted in the 112th Aircraft, Control and Warning Squadron of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard located in State College, Penn. During this time, the National Guard of each state was under the authority of each state governor.
These National Guard units, when directed by state authorities, provided protection of life and property, and preserved the peace, order and public safety. The state missions, which are funded by the state, include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires. Additionally these guard units provided search and rescue, the protection of vital public services and support to civil defense. ...
When President Reagan came into office he built up the manpower of the armed forces, whereas when President Clinton was elected to office he decapitated the armed forces. Some gormless, feckless plebeian who was in the Clinton administration took decisive action to cut the manpower and decommissioned many active duty units and assigned their duties to the Army and Air Force Reserves and National Guard units.
Now, in addition to state mission responsibilities, the Army and Air Force Reserves and National Guard units provide combat and combat support units and qualified personnel for active duty in the Army and Air Force. ...
On May 30, a major general in the Pentagon came up with a plan to use 6,000 National Guard troops for their 10-day summer encampment. He wants them to pull duty at the United States-Mexico border to augment the Border Patrol in stemming the flow of illegals from entering the United States. This is ludicrous!
The 10-day encampment on the border is a shoddy way to say "thank you" to the troops who have seen plenty of action in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina.
My recommendation is quite simple. Because re-enlistments are drastically sliding downward because these former citizen-soldiers have chosen to leave the National Guard due to deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq, with quite a few having had two different tours in the Mideast, ... give them preferences as veterans and hire them as border guards. Another plus is a few of these men and women already speak Spanish.
Let's cut out all the politics and increase the manpower for the border patrol with specific instructions to hire these former National Guard members. The using of the National Guard is just cosmetic silliness...
I respectfully request the readers contact their federal elected officials to squash this proposal.
David G. Edmiston
MSG USAF, retired
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