‘We live to do this’: Tennessee National Guard members protect U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Sent to guard the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day, Tennessee National Guard Soldiers know they’re taking part in history.

Lt. Col. Timothy Shubert is commanding more than 750 National Guardsmen on the mission. He spoke with News Channel 11 over video call on Wednesday afternoon from the streets of D.C., following Joe Biden being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

“Washington D.C. is the center of the world. All eyes are here,” Shubert said.

Members of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Mount Carmel and Rogersville are deployed to D.C. to provide security. Shubert is the commander of the 278th ACR’s 4th Squadron.

“We’ve been around on the Capitol grounds near the Senate and the north side of the Capitol,” said Shubert.

The presence of roughly 25,000 National Guard soldiers from around the country follows the January 6th violent protests at the Capitol.

Shubert said Inauguration Day has been peaceful.

“It’s been really pretty smooth here. We’ve had a few people that were out excercising their First Amendment rights. Nothing violent or anything like that,” he said. “We’ve had nothing but greetings and friendliness from the people here in Washington D.C.”

Heading into the night — they’ll continue to be stationed around the Capitol, helping provide security for the Capitol Police.

“I’ve got some good soldiers out there to help that. They were quite excited about what they were doing, just to know that they were part of history,” said Shubert.

Regimental Chaplain James Saunders called being in D.C. an honor.

“I am proud to be an American citizen and participate in this process,” he said. “I would like to say that our soldiers are always trained and ready. We live to do this. That’s why we’re in the service.”

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