COMMENTS: Call in the National Guard

Both ABC and CBS followed up NBC's Exclusive lead yesterday by Jim Miklaszewski that the Pentagon had put four National Guard brigades on alert to expect involuntary early call-up to active duty. CBS' substitute anchor Russ Mitchell announced that the units would come from Ohio, Indiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Hari Sreenivasan traveled to Oklahoma to check out the progress in the guardsmen's training for their premature return to Iraq, three years ahead of schedule. Not well. The 3,500-strong brigade is short 2,600 night vision goggles and 2,100 M4 rifles.

ABC looked at what happens to reservists and guardsmen after their tour of duty is complete. Jim Avila (subscription required) pointed out that the law requires employers to keep jobs open while workers serve but the deployments are longer and more frequent than expected and many positions end up being filled. The Department of Labor has 8,000 complaints on file about lost jobs or missed promotions, one claim for every 95 homebound reservist. Avila even found one commando, Richard Erickson, who had been let go by the United States Postal Service when he returned to work in Florida after two years in Afghanistan.


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