Vermont State Guard seeks veterans

Monday, June 23
COLCHESTER - As the Vermont National Guard faces the potential for a large deployment, military officials are trying to build up state reserves in case of a domestic crisis.

Up to 1,900 Vermont soldiers and airmen - about half of the Guard's membership - could be called up for duty in Afghanistan in 2010.

"We need to be cognizant of what could happen with a flooding situation or an ice storm, or some disaster in which the state of Vermont would need our assistance at a time when a lot of our Guard soldiers might be gone," said Major General Michael Dubie, head of the Vermont National Guard.

The Vermont State Guard, which operates under the authority of the governor, could take on some of those responsibilities, so officials are trying to recruit more retired veterans into the 900-member force.

"If the National Guard, or a significant portion of it is deployed, the question is who is going to take on their duties," said Col. Michael Gadue, chief of staff for the Vermont State Guard.

The state Guard "stands ready to assist in whatever needs may exist as a result of that deployment," he said.

Letters have been sent to more than 3,000 retired veterans asking them to join the State Guard.

The State Guard includes medical doctors, mechanics and retired military personnel. Members are not issued weapons or federal equipment and are unpaid, although some members receive mileage reimbursement.


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