“ The reason the American Army does so well in Wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis.”
This is believed to be said by a German General following World War 2. Today, we are fighting a very different battle. When the nation calls for defense of its national security the Army National Guard has been answering the call since December 13, 1636.
Saturday April 4th, more than 2,000 Soldiers’ phones rang telling them to drop what they are doing to support Election Day. No matter what the mission, the Wisconsin National Guard is always prepared to step up to the front lines to protect the people of Wisconsin and/or the people of America. In a span of just 72 hours, Soldiers had to prepare to cover multiple municipalities all over the state. This takes quick action and countless hours of work to ensure that all Soldiers are accounted for and trained up in a very short amount of time.
On Again OFF Again
As Soldiers waited patiently for direction from their Commander and Chief Governor Tony Evers in what capacity they may be used, Evers signed Order #74 suspending in-person voting for the April 7th Spring Election. With his edict, many Soldiers were sent back home to only be quickly called to return when the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-2 saying against Evers’ election delay.
“What matters is our ability to respond on short notice at such an incredibly large scale, all over the state,” said Lieutenant Colonel Hallebrand in response to his rapidly changing mission. This is a standard that the Wisconsin National Guard is proud to hold up, to ensure that Wisconsin remains operational and safe during a stay at home order.
We’re Here to Help
With Air and Army soldiers working quickly – and showing up to polls early to help – the City of Green Bay refused the help of many ready-to-work Guard members. The city, shrinking its 31 polling stations to two came as a shock to many in the Guard – and many of the locals. Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich told the City Council that the Coronavirus dropped poll worker numbers from 270-to-17.
“I think it’s kind of silly they declined the help,” said Alexander Swiecichowski, a Green Bay voter. “If the National Guard is willing to provide their service, they definitely should be able to help.”
Hurry Up and Wait
Many people waited for hours at the polls – standing in close proximity in Brown County – because of the resistance of ready and willing help. Areas that accepted the Guard’s help – such as Madison – had a much smoother voting process – and less exposure to COVID.
This situation is a reminder that no matter how hard times get, dressed in cameo or dress clothes, the National Guard will always be ready to help at a moment’s notice.
By KonMan920| 55.0 / 10.4
To see more on what the National Guard is doing in the fight against the Coronavirus follow @WI_Guard on Twitter. #FrontLines
As polling stations close, here's a glimpse into how #WisconsinNationalGuard members have been supporting the #election in their local communities throughout the state.#AlwaysReady #AlwaysThere#NeighborsHelpingNeighbors pic.twitter.com/MaAGB6aEX9
— WisconsinGuard (@WI_Guard) April 8, 2020
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