Members of the United States National Guard were forced to sleep in an unheated parking garage in Washington D.C. on Thursday, after being evacuated from the Capitol by Capitol Police following the inauguration of President Joe Biden the day before. It was reported that as many as 26,000 guard members were sent to the nation’s capitol earlier this month in preparation for inaugural events. Five thousand of those troops were evacuated to a parking garage to sleep in between their 12-hour shifts. “I’ve never in my entire career felt like I’ve been booted onto the curb and told, ‘Figure it out on your own'” stated one anonymous soldier.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed.”Anonymous National Guard Member
The events were said to have happened because of miscommunications between Capitol Police and the National Guard. Both sides of the aisle strongly condemn the events and have since apologized to the troops.
Chris Sununu, the Republican Governor of New Hampshire, stated, “I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington DC. They did an outstanding job serving our nation’s capital in a time of strife and should be graciously praised, not subject to substandard conditions.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did the same.
“I just visited the solders who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office. No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress. Our Troops deserve better.”Rep. Madison Cawthorn, (R-NC)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked, “Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer—why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot? They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers.” “My staff and I are investigating what happened here and will continue working to fix this situation,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “I have told those who run the security of the Capitol that it can never happen again, and I pledge to every National Guard member that it will not happen again.” Co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, Scott Dworkin, argued that the blame falls on former President Trump: “The National Guard slept in that parking lot because Donald Trump incited a terrorist attack on the Capitol. If you’re mad about it then vote to convict him.”
“Unreal. I can’t believe that the same brave service members we’ve been asking to protect our Capitol and our Constitution these last two weeks would be unceremoniously ordered to vacate the building. I am demanding answers ASAP. They can use my office.”Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
“This is outrageous, shameful, and incredibly disrespectful to the men and women keeping the U.S. Capitol safe and secure. We need it fixed, and we need answers on how it happened,” tweeted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).