National Guard Increases Numbers

National Guard Increases Numbers
By: Ryan Tate

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --The numbers of recruits are up for Missouri Army National Guard, in light of the increased responsibilities on the Guard.
Monday, President Bush called for 6,000 National Guard troops to head for the United States/Mexico border, to help stop illegal immigration.
Since 2002, some soldiers with the 1140th Missouri Army National Guard have been to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics, help with recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and served in Iraq.
"The Guard is the only force with a dual status, we have a state and federal mission,"Master Sergeant Chad Craft said. "As a whole, the perception of the Guard changed around the Gulf War in 1991. Since then the Guard has been viewed in a positive light."
Craft says the recruitment in Southeast Missouri is up 277% from this time last year. Across the state, it is up 250%. Craft says the Missouri Army National Guard is over its September goal of troops by 513 soldiers.
According to Missouri Army National Guard officials in Jefferson City, there is no word yet if local soldiers will be called to the borders.