The first days of June, a calamitous period for the Trump presidency, have been a debacle for the National Guard.
There has been a torrent of criticism from Congress, senior retired military officers and Guard members themselves since more than 5,000 Guard troops — from the District of Columbia and a dozen states — were rushed to the streets of the capital to help in the crackdown on mostly peaceful protesters and occasional looters after the killing of George Floyd in police custody. The D.C. Guard has halted recruiting efforts, and at least four National Guard troops have tested positive for the coronavirus.
D.C. Guard members, typically deployed to help after hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters, say they feel demoralized and exhausted. More than 60 percent are people of color, and one soldier said he and some fellow troops were so ashamed in taking part against the protests that they have kept it from family members.