WASHINGTON – More than 200 Soldiers with the Delaware Army National Guard are on duty in Washington to support the 59th presidential inauguration.
"I'm very proud of the Soldiers that have come out here and taken on this mission," said Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Leighton of the Delaware Army Guard's 721st Troop Command. "A few days ago they were at their jobs or attending classes, and they got the call that they were needed in D.C. and they stopped everything and left their families to support D.C. and their efforts."
Soldiers were deployed on short notice to Washington but arrived as fast as they could. As of Jan. 13, they join about 7,000 members of the Guard who have come to the District of Columbia from six states for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20. That number is expected to increase.
"Even though we haven't been as hands-on, our presence here means something." said Army Pfc. Quentin Busch, with the Delaware Army Guard's 160th Engineer Company. "We're here to work together and to make sure there's peace here."
This is Busch's first deployment since joining the Delaware Army Guard in 2019.
"It's nice to be doing something and not be on standby," said Busch. "We are here to make sure the month goes by smoothly so we can get home safely."
These Soldiers have been providing security at sites throughout the District, including near the U.S. Capitol.
"As the Soldiers go through their days here at Washington, D.C., they are going to have pride in what the National Guard is all about and the ability to serve your state and go into Washington, D.C., and assist in their efforts," said Leighton.