SALT LAKE CITY — The group of Utah National Guard soldiers who were sent to Washington, D.C. last week have returned home.
Approximately 200 troops spent five days in D.C. providing security at national monuments and helping with cleanup efforts. They were part of over 1,000 others sent to the nation's capital at President Donald Trump's request.
They were also some of the soldiers who were "evicted" from D.C. hotels after Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke out against the military presence in the district, a controversial move that angered some.
"We feel grateful for the opportunity to support the Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the D.C. National Guard, the Parks Police and most of all to serve our fellow Americans," Lt. Col. Brandon Holmer said. "I’m proud of the professionalism and maturity with which our Utah guardsmen conducted themselves. We’re also thankful for the support of our Utah leadership. We’re happy that the situation has deescalated and that we are able to come home.”
The unit was already preparing for an overseas deployment when the call for support came, allowing a quick response.
“It’s an honor to get an opportunity to serve in our nation’s capital,” Sgt. Gilberto Reynosa said. “Seeing the aftermath from the events of last week, we felt a tremendous sense of pride to be able to repair some of our monuments. When I got the chance to deploy to D.C. I did not think twice. I would do it again.”
They will be tested for COVID-19 and monitored for symptoms before returning to their homes, the Guard later said.