Infographic: Since September 11, a Much Changed National Guard
By Mary Mahling, Special to Stateline; Daniel C. Vock, Staff Writer; Evan Potler, Special to Stateline
When America went to war following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it called on the soldiers and airmen of the National Guard in a big way. Before 2001, the state-based units were often viewed as "weekend warriors" that governors called out to respond to natural disasters. But in the decade that followed, the Guard became an increasingly integrated part of the military in Afghanistan and Iraq, while still retaining its duties to respond to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Although the Guard generally got high marks for its performance, the increased strain bears a cost: in equipment, in the health of the soldiers and in lives lost.