Vermont Guard resolutions spark national discussion

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(Host) On Town Meeting Day, 48 Vermont communities voted for some version of a resolution that asked elected officials to examine whether it’s appropriate to use National Guard troops in foreign deployments, specifically to Iraq.

Those discussions, perhaps the first broad-based debate on Guard deployments anywhere in the country, were covered by some of the biggest national news organizations. And Middlebury College political scientist Eric Davis says that exposure took the issue far beyond the town halls of Vermont.

(Davis) “One thing that all the national organizations pointed out in their stories is that Vermont is the state with the highest per capita participation in the National Guard, and is also the state with the highest number of deaths per capita. So the fact that in the state that’s being affected most by these deployments, that many Vermonters are expressing reservations about the U.S. government’s policy in Iraq, that’s what’s being talked about in Washington.”

(Host) Eric Davis teaches at Middlebury College.

The Washington discussion of Guard deployments continues tonight, when Senator Patrick Leahy talks about it on the ABC News program, “Nightline.” Nightline sent a film crew to cover the issue in Vermont on Tuesday.

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