LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan National Guard members on deployment at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. will come home after March 12, according to a statement released by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office on Thursday.
"These brave men and women were some of the first troops on the ground to answer the call to protect our nation’s Capitol Building from security threats," the governor's office said. "The Michigan National Guard deployment will run until approximately March 12, and there is no intention of extending this deployment."
This comes after Capitol Police requested a 60-day extension of National Guard support at the U.S. Capitol due to threats of potential violence from a militia group.
Recently, 7 Action News uncovered through a whistleblower undercooked food being served to National Guard members causing them to become sick and hospitalized. This prompted members of Michigan's congressional delegation on both sides of the aisle to demand that soldiers be given proper meals.
On Tuesday, members of Congress sent a letter to acting secretary of the Army and National Guard Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson.
“It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington D.C are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided," part of the letter reads. "As Representatives of these service members, we request that either the current contract be voided and a new food provider be brought in or that the service members be provided with a per diem throughout their remaining time in Washington, D.C."
There are 1,000 Michigan National Guard members deployed in D.C. Once Gov. Whitmer learned of the poor and dangerous food being served to Michigan soldiers, she called Jon Whitley, the acting Secretary of the Army, and was told that per her understanding, the quality of food has "dramatically improved," although the actions are not excusable, she said.
The members of the guard are professionals who excel at the work they perform, and Governor Whitmer is incredibly proud of them and eager for their return home.
Now Whitmer is calling for Michigan National Guard members to end deployment on March 12. She will not agree to an extension.