BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho National Guard sent a little more than 400 members to Washington, D.C. last Friday to help with protests in our nation's capital.
Two days later, on Sunday, the president decided to send them home saying,
"I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control. They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!"
And while that might seem like a shorter stint than expected, the Idaho National Guard tells us it's not really.
They were supposed to be there for about five days. Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Borders said that hasn't exactly changed and they are still planning on returning home on Wednesday.
As the president's tweet said, they are in the “process of withdrawing” and that could take several days, since our 400 or so were part of the more than 5,000 guard members that descended on D.C. from across the country.
The 200 from Utah are already home after spending five days on duty.
So, what have Idaho's volunteers been up to?
According to Borders, they have been working at Anacostia Park and on the National Mall, where they guarded monuments like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial.
We are told they are currently preparing for a traffic security mission in order to protect pedestrians during the ongoing protests.
The mission is being funded by the federal government.
On Monday, Idaho guardsmen got a visit from Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).
In a news release, Risch noted that the guardsmen deployed to Washington, D.C. remain unarmed and in "soft cap," meaning they are not outfitted in body armor or riot gear while on duty.
"I am deeply proud of the Idaho National Guard," Risch said in a statement. "These men and women represent the very best of what our state has to offer, and their commitment to protecting lives and preserving peace during this difficult time is humbling. I thank them for their service to our nation and pray for their continued safety."
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