Some changes for the National Guard have been subtle over the years, for instance, the uniform. Other changes have been more obvious. More women are in the guard than ever before. We had the chance to catch up with some retired guardsmen and one guards women-active duty.
The first Tuesday of every month, the retired National Guard "old timers" as they call themselves, get together at the armory. Some of these men joined the guard as far back as the 1940's and love to talk about it from back in the day.
People join the National Guard for different personal reasons, with different expectations, and different stories to be told when it's all said and done. SPC Tara Kaszas has been a member of the National Guard for five years.
Tinsley retired from the guard in '97 after 19 years.
"When I joined, I never thought I would reach the rank I did. I thought my training would keep me in Florida, but I went to Europe nine times. I never dreamed I would do that," says Jim Tinsley.
Tinsley and SPC Kaszas have things in common, but are also worlds apart.
"I came in December '78. The Wall was still up, the bad guys were the Russians. Our emphasis was on what chances we would have for conflict with the Russians. But I was in peace time, not ducking bullets like they are now. I think most people may have joined the Guard thinking they would be called up for natural disasters, but now we know war is a real threat and that we may have to go overseas."
The "old timers" say they will continue to support the men and women fighting the war against terrorism, and can't wait for them to come home, and join them at their Tuesday lunches.
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