To the members of the House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee:

The American Constitution prescribesthe proper way for the united States of America to wage war, which is with anofficial declaration by Congress, in accordance with Article 1, Section 8,Clause 11 of the Constitution. Many conflicts involving the US military are undeclared,un-Constitutional, and illegal. HB229 the “Defend the Guard Act” represents asignificant opportunity for our state, already #1 is so many categories, tocontinue to lead. If passed, the Defend the Guard Act will increase the difficultyof the federal government’s ability to wage war, with an official declarationin accordance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 being required for NationalGuard troops to be committed to deployment.

Speaking from my personal active-dutyexperience, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in 2016, thecommander of 12th Air Force (a Lieutenant General) visited. Forthose not familiar with military rank structure, a Lieutenant General is a 3 Starranking officer, and the second highest officer pay grade in the US military. Commandingan Air Force Major Command, I knew he would have a unique perspective on Americanpolitics and current affairs. After conducting a Q&A town hall with thetroops, I approached him privately after the event ended and asked how hemanaged being in such a high position during an election year. His responsecould be summarized as he “didn’t pay attention to political campaigns as when civilianleaders get into the room, they find their options significantly reduced andthere’s little they can do to change anything”. Technically, every mission inthe U.S. military is 'Constitutional’, which is why we rarely see members speakingout against violations of the constitution. Active-duty bases are continuouslyin an “ambassadorship” role with local community, as military members on an active-dutybase come from all 50 states, and have a national, rather than state or local identity.Decades abroad and at war have resulted in our military establishmentdeveloping “blinders” as to what concerns American citizens at home.

The National Guard, often beingteased as “weekend warriors” by their active-duty counterparts provide acritical link between country and community, as part time defenders, they havea leg in the ‘real world’ that is the civilian American experience. They don’tlive on base, they go home to their neighborhoods, every day. Currently they areabsent, but it does not have to be this way. The Defend the Guard act is a criticalstep in the right direction, with New Hampshire asserting legitimate authorityover its troops, once again.


Veteran, United States Air Force