The National Guard in the United States is celebrating the 380th anniversary of its founding.
A ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday honored all those who have served.
Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard, says the state’s guardsmen and women serve an important role.
“For the nation, we’re the operational combat reserve for both the Army and Air Force, so, quite frankly, our nation can’t fight its wars and win its battles without the National Guard anymore,” Bohac tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He says the main mission of the Nebraska Guard is helping the state’s citizens in a manmade emergency or natural disaster.
“I look back at Pilger, two years ago, two thirds of the town is essentially destroyed by two tornadoes,” Bohac says. “We had 20 soldiers there the next morning and what I heard when I was walking the streets is ‘we know when we see the uniforms of the National Guard, things are going to get better.’”
There are roughly 4,500 men and women in the Nebraska National Guard.
Bohac says about 90 soldiers are serving overseas with the 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kan.