Today, also salute ‘citizen soldiers’

We call them “citizen soldiers” because for most of the year, they are not in uniform but instead, among us at our workplaces, schools and elsewhere in our society. But this year, many are on the front lines of a war being fought not with firearms and other implements of combat, but with testing kits, face masks, hand sanitizer and other weapons of health care.

About 450,100 Americans serve in the Army and Air National Guard. Normally, the governors of states where they live call upon them only during times of natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.

Our natural disaster this year, COVID-19, has been among us for more than eight months. During that period of combat, men and women of the National Guard have been mobilized throughout the nation to help safeguard us against the deadly disease. Here close to home, the Ohio National Guard has been assigned full time to work at Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley since March.

Their assistance has been invaluable. The assignment takes them away from homes and loved ones for weeks, sometimes months, at a time.

This Veterans Day, we must remember to honor all who have served in the military — including members of the Ohio National Guard. For more than two centuries, our “citizen soldiers” have stood ready to help in emergencies. By serving us during the worst health care disaster in more than 100 years, they once again have demonstrated that when we need them the most, they are there.



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