National Guard Essential, Too
President Barack Obama has been at best disrespectful, and at worst dishonest in dealing with important members of the U.S. military while he and Congress lock horns. Either he does not understand how important the National Guard is to our security and well being, or he hoped they were not listening when he addressed American service members and the Department of Defense last week.
“Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency,” Obama said in a video he timed for release a few hours before the federal government shutdown.
National Guard members might be forgiven for looking down to confirm that they are, indeed, in uniform. And, of course, we all know they are ready for any contingency – all the more as so many of their fellow warriors continue to fight a war from which Obama promised he would bring them home years ago.
But the Obama administration apparently did not consider them to be essential to the nation’s security.
Both houses of Congress approved a special bill, the “Pay Our Military Act,” to ensure members of the armed forces are paid during the partial government shutdown. Obama signed the measure.
At first, however, many National Guard and Reserve members were not included in the Pentagon’s plans to continue paying service men and women. That changed only after a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., sent a letter on the subject to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Our National Guard protects our state and our country. Its members are willing to run toward dangers from which the rest of us flee, and could be called to do so at any second. In failing to deal honorably with a truly essential group of men and women, Obama gave yet another example of the poor judgment and arrogance that brought him to this point in the first place.