More than 550 members of the Wisconsin National Guard have returned home following their deployment to the nation's Capitol.
The soldiers and airmen were bused back to their home armories last Friday and Saturday. They were deployed to the Capitol for about one week, to safeguard President Joe Biden's inauguration and the U.S. government in the wake of the Capitol riots.
They joined about 25,000 members of other states' National Guards troops in Washington, D.C.
Wisconsin National Guard spokesperson Major Joe Trovato explained in an articleon Monday that the troops often worked 12-hour shifts, lodged in hotels while off duty and ate hot, catered meals. They were tested for the coronavirus before heading to the capital city, as well as each day there and upon their return to the Badger State.
Trovato writes that the troops were originally set to be a part of a larger reserve force a few miles from the Capitol Building, but in the end were stationed to provide security immediately around the Capitol Building during the inauguration.
A number of the troops received visits from Wisconsin senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin. Others got the chance at a tour of the Capitol Building or attend awards ceremonies along the building's steps.
Hundreds of other members of the Wisconsin National Guard deployed to Madison following the Capitol riots. That mission ended on Jan. 18, just as other troops were arriving in the nation's capital.
Fortunately, members of the Guard in both locations did not have to meet any rioters, as some feared in media reports.