Vt. Guard soldiers arrive in Washington, DC

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 7:47 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2021 at 6:23 AM EST
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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) - Soldiers from the Vermont Army National Guard have arrived in Washington, D.C. Teams have now begun in-processing at Joint Force Headquarters of the District of Columbia National Guard.

More than 100 Vermont National Guard soldiers boarded buses in Jericho on Sunday to help protect the nation’s capital ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“I think Vermonters should be immensely proud of their Vermont National Guard,” Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight said. “I’m immensely proud of them... when I look at how quickly these soldiers came together, how quickly the staff worked to put together a plan to get the logistics in place to make this operation happen. Seventy-two hours. We were built for this, I’ve said it before, and this validates that, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Several of these soldiers said, ‘I haven’t been there since I went in my fifth-grade elementary school class,’” Cmdr. Larry Doane said. “So the fact they can go down there now as members of the Guard to protect our democracy and the standard for what’s right... that’s amazing.”

Gov. Phil Scott is thanking the soldiers.

“Thank you to the Vermont National Guard soldiers who are on their way to Washington, D.C., to help defend democracy and ensure a peaceful transition of power,” said Scott, R-Vermont.

The Vermont National Guard has had a busy year helping out with COVID, assisting the UVM Medical Center with their cybersecurity following a paralyzing attack, and now carrying out their duty defending the Constitution they swore an oath to protect.

“We are here to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and we pride ourselves on being a versatile force that can respond to any type of mission that we are tasked with. It means a lot to us. I don’t think the gravity of the situation is lost on anybody and this opportunity is lost on anybody that’s here,” the D.C. Task Force commander told WCAX.

A spokesperson for the Guard expects they will be down in Washington for around one week, but it all depends on what transpires while they are there.

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