From Stars and Stripes, Interview With Senator Barack Obama, Leo Shane III, August 11, 2008
I think it’s also important that we return our National Guard and reserve to its traditional mission, which is primarily one of homeland security.Our National Guardsmen and reservists take enormous pride in the work they’ve done. But we have put an enormous burden on them. Our National Guards here back home are not adequately trained to meet a potential catastrophe here in the United States. We saw that during Katrina. We saw some evidence of that during the tornadoes in Kansas. There are a whole bunch of units all across the country that essentially have left all their equipment behind, back in Iraq. So there’s going to be an important reset function for the next administration.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Veterans for America Applauds Focus Given to National Guard at Convention
August 25, 2008
Veterans for America (VFA) is encouraged by the decision of Sen. Barack Obama to invite the father-in-law, Mike Fisher, of an Indiana National Guardsman to address the assembled delegates of the opening night of the Democratic National Convention 2008.
The use of the National Guard has reached levels not seen since World War II. At least 35 states, including Mr. Fisher’s home state of Indiana, have experienced their largest National Guard deployments in over 60 years. Indiana’s 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) is halfway through its third tour, the most of any frontline unit in the Guard. Members of the National Guard who had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are 25% more likely to develop PTSD and face increasing likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse. Quite clearly, the Guard has not been adequately trained or prepared for the combat pressures they have been asked to step up to.