by Scott Buttram, publisher
TRUSSVILLE — Like most of America, I was in shock as insurgents violently took siege of the U.S. Capitol. It was unconscionable that anything of the sort could take place on American soil, let alone in our nation’s Capitol.
When Alabama Governor Kay Ivey sent 750 troops to Washington to protect the Capitol during the inauguration of President Joe Biden, it was a point of personal pride. We sent our best to protect the democracy of our great nation.
What has transpired with our troops since is just as unconscionable as the siege they were sent to prevent.
Without appropriate accommodations, the soldiers slept on the floors in the hallways and cafeteria of the Capitol building.
To be clear, these troops are trained to survive the jungles and deserts of foreign lands. The floor may not be comfortable, but they had access to restrooms and other necessities. There was no complaining from the rank and file. They would get through just fine.
But on Thursday, the treatment of the soldiers went from inconvenient to disrespectful and that’s where the line should be drawn.
“As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, U.S. Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area outside of the Capitol,” Capt. Edwin Nieves Jr., a D.C. National Guard spokesman said. “They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities.”
Those “restroom facilities” turned out to be two porta-potties for 5,000 troops.
This is not the jungles and deserts of a foreign land. This is the capitol city of the United States of America. Better accommodations could have easily been arranged with minimum thought and effort, but that would have meant making our military personnel a priority. Instead, many elected leaders treated our brave soldiers as nothing more props for photo ops.
On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida ordered their troops to return home. Ivey should do the same immediately.