Thousands Of National Guardsmen Banished To Packed Parking Garages Following Inauguration

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Do you remember the tens of thousands of National Guardsmen who were sent to the nation’s capital leading up to the inauguration? Remember how there were more troops in Washington, D.C. than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined? Well, this should give you a pretty good idea of the current situation of those more than 20,000 soldiers.

According to Politico, they were essentially banished to packed parking garages once the inauguration had concluded.

“Thousands of National Guardsmen were forced to vacate congressional grounds on Thursday and are now taking their rest breaks outside and in nearby parking garages, after two weeks of sleepless nights protecting the nation’s capital.”

One Guardsman gave some devastating specifics.

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed.”

Apparently, the soldier’s Battalion had been utilizing the Dirksen Senate Office building as a resting area and were “abruptly told to vacate the facility” the day after the inauguration. The unit was then relegated to a nearby parking garage with no internet, no cell reception, one electrical outlet, and one two-stall bathroom, all intended to service 5,000 soldiers.

The Politico article explains,

“The troops are particularly concerned about being packed in tight quarters with limited bathroom access during a pandemic. At least 100 Guardsmen have tested positive for Covid, according to two Guardsmen. Some are quarantining in hotels.”

It seems hard to believe that the administration of the man who is supposedly the most popular president in the history of the country would treat the troops this way just hours after being inaugurated. But there are pictures to prove the abhorrent treatment.

Representative Madison Cawthorn posted video evidence taken while delivering pizzas to the troops.

In fact, the abhorrent treatment of the service members in the nation’s capital appears to be a bipartisan issue, as lawmakers from both sides have spoken out against the terrible treatment of the troops.

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According to Senator Duckworth, she has made calls and “been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the Guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight.” Additionally, a recent update by her stated that the last Guardsman will clear the parking garage before midnight.