Saturday, November 24, 2007
I once researched the National Guard based in the Bowery in NYC as part of a multiple cemetery investigation for archaeological significance. When the US government first convened it met in NYC and had a National Guard (the Second Amendment ensured it wasn’t the only “state” militia) and after 9/11/01 the Congress met again in NYC. This particular unit's officer would later be tried in courts martial after the “Draft Riots” during the American Civil War and was called out in march to protect Washington, DC later disbanded perhaps far from the riots, on Brother Island in the Bronx. They perhaps were an original regiment under General Von Steuben, called the “Steuben Rifles” in the civil war. Kate Millet lived in the place next to Germania Hall. Another Guard unit was just aways up the street and it became part of the only privately funded Guard armory moved to the 7th Regimental Armory uptown. What I can’t understand is that in the millions who served in the 10 year Vietnam War era I read maybe a couple of thousand National Guard soldiers actually even saw Vietnam, and as we know many escaped the Selective Service by joining it. I really feel that some of the best and brightest of our citizenry, they and enlistees, have been put at a severe disadvantage, serving next to so-called “contractors” making x times as much as they do. I wonder, as was shown to be the case in Vietnam to harm Mexican-Americans (first issue of “Lowrider”) if someone else may be getting the short end of the stick and may be reflected in the blanket statistics hidden perhaps by the arguably failed policy of “don’t ask don’t tell”.