With bags in hand, about 400 national guardsmen lined up to fly to our nation’s capital to support the 59th presidential inauguration.
When they land, Col. Dan Fowler said their goal is to protect and serve.
“The people that volunteered to go do this had days of notice, if that. Some of them had even less,” Col. Fowler said. “The individuals that worked before the scene to try and get everyone out the door dropped all their long, weekend plans and came and worked long hours to make this happen.”
Col. Fowler said the National Guard always assists with president inaugurations, but this one is different. Businesses have been boarded up and officials are on high alert.
A large enforcement presence is on-site at the U.S. Capitol and surrounding areas.
“This is very special. The T.A.G (the adjunct general) was out here, and he greeted everyone before they left and told them, ‘Remember this: This will be very significant. You will tell your grandchildren about that,’” Col. Fowler said. “I said the same thing to my individuals before we set them out the door. Obviously, this is an unprecedented time.”
The guardsmen will join thousands of soldiers and airmen in Washington D.C. to help law enforcement around the Capitol, National Mall and the White House.
Guardsmen in Oklahoma will also be assisting Oklahoma Highway Patrol, should any protest turn violent over protests until next Thursday.
A return date for the guardsmen to Oklahoma is not known at this time.