Veterans: ‘keep National Guard out of undeclared wars’

Published 11:00 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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American Legion Post 81 in Cleveland, Tennessee passed a resolution by two-thirds majority supporting passage of the Defend the Guard Act by the Tennessee legislature. This bill would prohibit the deployment of the Tennessee National Guard into active combat without a declaration of war by Congress, in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which stipulates that “The Congress shall have Power…To declare War…”

.“Defend the Guard is the most important piece of legislation making its way through state houses across the country. It’s a way for local legislators to force Congress to follow the Constitution, and make sure politicians put their name on the dotted line before our troops put their boots on the ground,” said Sgt. Dan McKnight, Chairman of Bring Our Troops Home. “A century ago, the National Commander of the American Legion Hanford MacNider, a hero of two world wars, said ‘I am… unwilling to commit my sons or any American’s sons to the policing of the rest of the world.’ We’re encouraged that these efforts signal a return to the America First attitudes of our Founding Fathers and a dedication to the old republic, not the global DC Empire.”

McKnight is a 13-year veteran of the U.S. military, with service in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, U.S. Army and Idaho Army National Guard, including an 18-month combat deployment in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007. In 2019 McKnight founded Bring Our Troops Home, a national organization of veterans of the Global War on Terror.

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Bring Our Troops Home is the progenitor of the Defend the Guard movement and has coordinated the bill’s introduction in twenty state legislatures since 2020. For the 2023 legislative session, the Defend the Guard Act has already been introduced in New Hampshire, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Maine and is on track to reach 30 states by the end of the year.

The bill has yet to be sponsored in Tennessee. American Legion Post 81’s resolution will now move forward for approval at the state-level.

“The citizen-soldiers of the Volunteer State deserve the utmost respect, and that means our representatives should debate and vote before sending the National Guard into combat. A war that is undeclared is unconstitutional, a crime against our founding document and an insult to our courageous men and women in uniform,” said McKnight.

Bring Our Troops Home was aided in the passage of this resolution by the efforts of local veteran Zeb Proctor, a U.S. Marine Corps machine gunner who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

For more information about the Defend the Guard Act or the American Legion resolution, visit DefendTheGuard.US.