By: Amy Jo Underwood
Freshman congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) brought stacks of pizza to the National Guard troops stationed in DC, and offered to let them sleep in his office when they were told to vacate the Capitol and forced to sleep in a parking garage. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Florida National Guard to return home after learning how they had been treated after over two weeks of protecting the Capitol.
After two weeks of building barricades and surrounding the Capitol grounds, the National Guard was told to leave the Capitol and stay in a parking garage, according to Politico. Over five thousand troops were placed in an area with one bathroom and only two stalls, with no internet and only one electrical outlet. One member of the National Guard told Politico, "Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed." Many hours later, the troops were allowed back, after multiple congressmen raised complaints and demanded that the troops be treated with respect.
Madison Cawthorn, freshman representative to North Carolina, a strong Trump supporter and the youngest person to be elected to the U.S. Congress, heard of the situation and showed up with stacks of pizzas for the troops. He tweeted, “I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office. No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress. Our Troops deserve better.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) ordered the National Guard to return to Florida the next morning, and later stated to Fox News that the troops were “soldiers, not Nancy Pelosi’s servants.” Other governors and congressmen have echoed DeSantis’ sentiment, stating that the troops were used for show and then discarded once the inauguration was finished.
"The men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our liberties deserve to be treated with honor, dignity, and respect. We rest easy at night knowing that they stand guard at the door of Democracy. ... No soldier ought to be treated as expendable, or used as a political prop to be cast aside when the cameras leave the room.” - Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC)
“Lawmakers and staffers who demanded National Guard be stationed at the Capitol are now complaining about their presence. You can’t have it both ways. These are soldiers, not props.” - Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL)