And yet we are slowly eroding the kind of support described.
Once there were armories in small towns all across the state. The National Guard was truly community based. Today, the Guard is being more and more centralized into monster super-facilities that they don’t even call armories anymore–Armed Forces Reserve Centers. Once, you’d drill somewhere nearby. Now you might have to drive across the state each month.
And that’s not just a problem for community support of the Guard. It’s like an onion–multilayer-ed and it kind of stinks.
The flip side of wearing away community support; Guardsmen no longer know the people in the communities they support–that’ll impact how Guard units respond to disasters and civil disturbances someday.
But it’s also something of a shot across the bow of the very idea of the Constitutional militia–something we only bear a passing resemblance too any more anyway. That strong community tie is supposed to make the community jealous and protective of how *their* units are used.
So, Ada, OK, enjoy them while they are still yours. Fight for them and they’ll fight for you.
Ada is a bustling town of about 17,000 in southeastern Oklahoma, boasting a state university and wealth of Native American culture.
Veterans can always anticipate gratitude when they return, said Clint Patton, a veteran of the 45th and longtime resident of Ada.
“People here in Ada really do support the Guard and the Reserves, constantly saying ‘Thank you for your service,’ and things like that,” Patton said. “So they do back up the military here in town.”