Monday is National Guard Day in Alaska.
The Alaska Legislature this year set aside July 30th of each year as a day to honor the National Guard and its work.
In Juneau, active and retired Air and Army National Guardsmen and women will celebrate with a picnic at Sandy Beach.
The first National Guard unit in Alaska — Alpha Company, 297th Infantry — was established in Juneau in 1940 under Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening.
Mac Metcalfe is one of three retired guardsmen in Juneau to organize the event. He says there are about 60 active National Guard members in Juneau, and an unknown number of retired members.
Every state has its own National Guard, “controlled by the governor, until the president calls a unit or all units up, then they become part of the regular Army or the regular Air Force,” Metcalfe says. In state, the National Guard “is here primarily to assist in state emergencies. And they have a lot of different tools to help, including helicopters, aircraft that can bring in large amounts of supplies, soldiers that can be deployed for security reasons or to do pick and shovel work, whatever’s needed.”
Monday’s first Alaska National Guard Day picnic in Juneau is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Sandy Beach.
- "We’re helping to write down the story of how boarding schools are affecting us and our families today, so that our children and grandchildren will know the history."
- French President François Hollande was at the White House trying broaden an international coalition to fight the Islamic State.
- Canadian regulators say the Tulsequah Chief Project, near Juneau, has agreed to reduce pollution leaking into a nearby river. But the mine won’t have to restart a shuttered water-treatment plant.
- On the sidewalks, at the stores, at the bars, people have been talking about a loud sound they heard around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Most have never heard anything like it before.