By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 4/16/19 (Tue)
We can go as far back as the Spanish-American War to find solid documentation about the work of the North Dakota National Guard.
A lot of people in the region have been part of the National Guard over the years and for many, it shaped their lives.
A hitch used to be four years, then it was increased to six and later eight. Many did their duty, joined up and served an enlistment, while others made a career out of it.
How else could communities that house the National Guard support the Guard?
The first two communities that come to mind are
And because of the success of the “schoolhouse,” along the way,
It also houses
Had it not been for the training facility at
Instead, most of them have been trained here with Soldiers from as far away as
It’s really brought a level of professionalism to
This organization had a vision of expanding and it has done an outstanding job of doing so, as is proven by the graduation rates of the Soldiers who attend the courses.
Now, leadership wants to expand the area known as “Camp Grafton South.” It is currently a 9,300-acre property that stretches across a wide swath of
Heavy equipment is operated in this area, explosives are set off for training purposes, Soldiers run land navigation courses and weekend Soldiers hold their annual training at Camp Grafton South.
To expand another 6,000 acres would be to accommodate another large influx of Soldiers to be trained and yet there are some neighbors who don’t want it to happen.
Some say the training spooks their cattle, others claim that when charges are detonated, it rattles pictures on the walls and most outrageous is the claim that convoy traffic is hard to pass.
But if you look at the benefits of what the Guard is providing for
For instance, consider meals. The Army does indeed march on its stomach and when training exercises are going on, it takes too much time to drive back to Camp Grafton proper so many of the meals are contracted in small-town cafes such as McHenry and Grace City. Can you imagine what it would do for a cafe such as McHenry, population 56, when 160 Soldiers drop by for a noon meal?
It’s probably the equivalent of six months of normal business... in one day.
Soldiers on duty take breaks just like construction workers or retail employees. Most of the time, they’ll stop at convenience stores along the way from
It seems that
But if you take a look at what
In reality, it should be turned into a fort because it rivals
If you look at definitions, a camp is temporary, a fort is permanent.