Members of the National Guard patrol the streets in Washington on Jan. 19, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Three governors have ordered their local National Guard troops to return to their respective states following accounts of thousands of them having been “banished” to the parking garage of the Capitol.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote this morning on Twitter he had “instructed General Norris to order the return of the Texas National Guard to our state.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis also announced on Twitter that he ordered the Florida National Guard to return from Washington.
“Last night, I ordered our Adjutant General to bring Florida National Guard soldiers home from the National Capital Region,” he wrote.
Last night, I ordered our Adjutant General to bring Florida National Guard soldiers home from the National Capital Region.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 22, 2021
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu also proceeded to do the same, mentioning that they were treated with “substandard” conditions.
“I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington D.C.,” Sununu wrote on Twitter. “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.”
I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington D.C. 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. @NHNationalGuard— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) January 22, 2021
DeSantis said on “Fox&Friends” that the assignment was a “half-cocked mission at this point.” He added that the National Guardsmen were not there as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) servants, referring to the 600 Texas National Guards.
The National Guard released a statement saying that they will be coordinating the return of around 15,000 troops during a 5–10 day period, and at the end of the logistics, about 7,000 national guard troops will remain in Washington until the end of the month.
On Jan. 21, photos showing the thousands of troops holed up in the parking garage circulated the internet. The troops were later allowed back in.
“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,” a Guardsman told Politico.
Five thousand troops were reportedly suddenly ordered to vacate the Capitol and go rest in a nearby parking lot with no internet reception, a single electrical outlet, and one bathroom, with the temperature dropping low to the 40s at night.
The move provoked widespread criticism from both parties.