Peace Time: January 2, 2002

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: Support Your State Guards- When the National Guard was created from the old "militia" in 1904, states were permitted to retain some of those troops as "State Guards" or "State Defense Forces."

These units receive no Federal subsidy, but also have no direct Federal service obligation. This measure gave the governor something to use during emergencies that occurred at times when the President had mobilized the National Guard. First employed with great success in 1916, when the bulk of the National Guard was mobilized for duty on the Mexican border, State Guard units have performed often difficult duties with little fanfare during both world wars and during many domestic emergencies. 

Today, about half the states, as well as Puerto Rico, maintain State Guard units. Largely trained for military police, security, family assistance, and community support missions, State Guard units consist of true volunteer soldiers, almost always serving unpaid and often a some personal expense. These are official military units, not self-appointed militia groups. They drill in National Guard armories and carry state-issued ID cards. 

After the 9-11 attacks, State Guards have become more important to their states and their communities. The call-up of National Guard units left many cities with only State Guard units for emergencies, and State Guard units across the country began intensive training and recruitment. In New York, hundreds of New York State Guard personnel, many of whom had already served on active duty during the Pan Am Flight 800 recovery, were called up for weeks of active duty, assisting civil and military police, managing relief supplies, and even providing escorts for the President. 

If you want to serve your country and community, call your National Guard armory and ask for the contact phone number for the local State Guard unit, or check with your State Adjutant General's Office or www.sgaus.org to see if your state has a State Guard. If your state does not have a State Guard, bring the matter to the attention of your legislative representatives. As State Guard units exist with virtually no budget, all of them are willing to accept donations of military equipment (uniforms, boots, web gear) and even food to feed the troops while at drills or on missions. Most such donations are tax deductible. If you have things to donate but no local unit, two FYEO staffers (who happen to serve in State Guard units) will happily make arrangements for you to contact appropriate agencies.

New York State Guard: contact Major Albert A. Nofi, anofi@aol.com, to arrange shipment. Texas State Guard: ship prepaid to Sergeant First Class Stephen Cole, 4107 West 45th #3, Amarillo TX 79109, or contact at adbinc@mailbox.arn.net for arrangements.

DO NOT send weapons, flammable or hazardous materials, or ammunition. --Stephen V Cole

 


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