Scores of people came out in Saturday night's freezing cold in Melrose to welcome house members of the National Guard who had actually been deployed to Washington, D.C., to help keep the peace at the inauguration of President Biden 2 weeks after the insurrection at the Capitol.
Individuals waving flags cheered and shouted, “Great task!” and “Thank you for your service!” as members of the First Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, disembarked from buses outside the National Guard base on Main Street.
“They didn't know what they may be walking into when they went down there,” stated Julie Pulson of Saugus, who taped a “Welcome home!” sign to the window of her cars and truck. “I simply desire them to know they're appreciated.”
In all, about 500 National Guard members from throughout the state were released to support the 59th inaugural, stated battalion Commander Thomas Clark.
“I believe the households of these terrific soldiers and airmen must be really happy to see these citizen soldiers,” Clark stated. “They left their tasks and families on extremely short notification and made their way to Washington, D.C.”
Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking lot after being sent to safeguard Washington triggered calls for examinations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now dealing with accusations that the company evicted troops sent out to assist after its failure to stop rioting mobs 2 weeks earlier.
But Clark said everybody in his battalion slept in a hotel room, and he called the Capitol Police “absolutely tremendous partners” who “revealed a lot appreciation for us to be there.”
The battalion was stationed on the House of Representatives side with a lot of them “and had definitely no problems,” he stated.
Gov. Charlie Baker ensured that they got more than 500 quick COVID-19 tests, Clark stated.
“That provides us peace of mind that we understand we can return home to our families after a great mission,” he said.Source: bostonherald.com