I'm getting just a little tired of politicians treating National Guard Service as if it was little more than a Scouting experience. My father enlisted in the National Guard and was transferred into the Regular Army after December 7, 1941. When he enlisted, no one really thought we'd be at war within a few years. His Guard service didn't keep him from being shot at by German soldiers. He also told me about one fellow he served with who watched as his discharge papers were torn up in front of him. In the space of seconds, he went from being discharged from the National Guard to serving another five years in the regular Army.
If National Guard Service keeps its people out of "harm's way", what about my cousin David who was in Iraq during the first Gulf War? He was in the National Guard, how come he ended up in Iraq? How about all the men and women serving in Iraq right now who are members of Guard Units? One of my co-workers is in the Coast Guard reserve. He guarded prisoners in Gitmo. Sure, he wasn't getting shot at by the Iraqi Army, but he didn't expect to end up in Cuba for six months either. My agency has a wall with photos of employees who are serving in Guard Units. Most have been deployed to Iraq. One of my sergeants was deployed to Bosnia during our time there. She didn't expect to go to Bosnia when she signed the papers to enlist in the Guard, but she got her orders and went.
I want to go on record and say that any military service, whether regular service or Guard service is honorable and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.