Lawmakers Push Trump for More Support to National Guard

Lawmakers Push Trump for More Support to National Guard

May 23, 2020   |   by James G. Dalton

More than 120 lawmakers signed a letter Friday urging the Trump administration to consider implementing several measures geared toward helping National Guard troops fighting the virus.

Requests include allowing guardsmen to be eligible for retirement benefits after their coronavirus deployment and allowing troops to keep federal status instead of labeling them as state active duty, so they can keep health care. Another request involves giving guardsmen flexibility in how they use leave time they accrue during the pandemic.

“We encourage you to be inclusive of pandemic response affiliated military service to ensure that National Guard personnel are not being inappropriately prevented from accessing the benefits earned by their service,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter addressed to President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor.

The lawmakers noted that the National Guard has played a crucial role in helping states with medical tasks and even conducting elections.

“The National Guard has been critical in executing the nation’s pandemic response efforts. Thousands of National Guard service members have been providing invaluable support for testing civilians and Guard personnel, logistics and warehouse distribution, planning for Emergency Operations Centers, homelessness outreach, and much more,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was spearheaded by the National Guard Association of the United States, which says it represents about 45,000 current and former National Guard officers.

Signatories include 95 Democrats, 29 Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt.

National Guard coronavirus deployments are scheduled to end on June 24, but on Friday Defense Secretary Mark Esper said they could be extended if necessary.

via newsmax

Recent Comments


    May 24, 2020 @ 8:28 am

    Please do read this. I think all or part will strike a chord in you.

    A Day of Rmembrance and Appreciation
    for Those Now and Those Past
    Not Just Military but All Who Are or
    Have Been IN SERVICE. Include Police,
    Fire, Rescue, Doctors, Nurses and
    Medical Techs, National Guard …
    Yet there are more we have never
    Thought of Before. WHAT? With the
    VIRUS Crisis Have We Not Learned of
    Many MORE? How About Essential for
    Life Items?
    Delivered to US or a Store for US.
    There are Those Now and Those Past
    in That Service.

    The following is a poem sent to me last Christmas season. It may not mention all those above, BUT, It does relate to all of them and MORE not listed. It may not have entered the thought of all but it IS inside for them to what they have done and are still doing.
    READ IT, I think you will see what I have, inside those who have sacrificed for us. Perhaps ‘just’ risking an illness, possibly deadly. Or perhaps much more

    A Christmas Poem
    The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
    I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
    My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
    My daughter beside me, angelic in rest
    Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
    transforming the yard to a winter delight.

    The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
    Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve
    My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
    Secure and surrounded by love, I would sleep,
    In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
    So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

    The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
    But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
    Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
    Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
    My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
    And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

    Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
    A lone figure stood his face weary and tight.
    A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
    Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
    Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
    Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

    “What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
    “Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
    Put down your pack; brush the snow from your sleeve,
    You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

    For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
    Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,

    To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light.
    Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
    I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

    “It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
    That separates you from the darkest of times.

    No one had to ask or beg or implore,
    I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before.
    My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December.”
    Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas Gram always remembers.”

    “My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
    And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

    I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
    But my wife sends me pictures; he’s sure got her smile.”

    Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
    The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

    “I can live through the cold and the being alone,
    Away from my family, my house and my home

    I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
    I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
    I can carry the weight of killing another,
    Or lay down my life for my sister or brother,
    Who stand at the front against any and all
    To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

    “So go back inside,” he said, “Harbor no fright,
    Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
    “But isn’t there something I can do, at the least?
    Give you money,” I asked, “Or prepare you a feast?
    It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
    for being away from your wife and your son.”

    Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
    “Just tell us you love us, and never forget
    To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
    To stand your own watch, no matter how long
    For when we come home, either standing or dead,
    To know you remember we fought and we bled
    Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
    that we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

    PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves.

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