Vermont National Guard soldiers return from Washington, DC

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 11:20 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 4:05 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Army National Guard soldiers are finally back home after more than a month protecting the nation’s Capitol.

Commanding officers told the Vermont National Guard soldiers who returned to Vermont on Sunday from Washington, D.C., just how immensely proud they were of them after going down to protect the sanctity of the inauguration along with staying to protect some of Washington’s most special places.

“All Vermonters can be very proud,” said Lt. Col. Chris Day of the Vermont Army National Guard.

About 100 soldiers piled off the buses and grabbed their packs after what commanding officers called a successful mission the whole state should be proud of.

“It was great to see everybody come together and work toward a common purpose. I think that’s maybe what the country needs right now is a great example of how we can come together and work toward something greater than ourselves,” said Capt. Erik Lahr.

Lahr was the task commander down in Washington and helped to oversee their missions. After the inauguration, the Vermont National Guard was called out specifically to continue their mission and stay in the capital. They helped protect the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and their final mission was at the Naval Observatory, the vice president’s residence.

“It was awe-inspiring. These buildings are steeped in history around the capital and seeing buildings that have so much meaning to our country and what we stand for, it was an honor,” said Lahr.

About 140 Vermont National Guard soldiers were down in D.C. over the course of the last month and they say they’re all happy to be back and see their families.

“The soldiers are happy to come back. The last few days your head’s in the mission, your head’s in D.C., you’re thinking about what you need to be doing to do well down there, but then after a while, it dawns on you you’re coming home, it’s going to be nice,” said Day.

Now that the soldiers are back, they will be completing a quarantine before going back to their daily lives.

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