Utica National Guard Member Meets Several Notable U.S. Senators On Duty
A Utica native and current member of New York's National Guard has been on duty in Washington D.C. providing security to members of Congress and The U.S. Senate.
Vincent Scalise is the Founder and Executive Director of The Utica Center for Development Inc. Before the name change, it was The CNY Veteran's Outreach Center. Scalise is a veteran himself and is still an active member of New York's National Guard out of Utica's Parkway Armory. He and his fellow Guard members have been down in D.C. since January 7th, 2021.
The assignment for National Guard members to go to the nation's Capitol for protective purposes stemming from the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. The next day Scalise and other members were activated by Governor Cuomo to go down and give addded security.
Vincent Scalise says, "It's amazing to be in the nation's Capitol. Also, being here to do a securtiy mission like this doubles the pride." Scalise says he is assigned to guarding the Senate side of The Capitol. There were early warnings or indications that it was possible a very small number of Guard members may intercede in the Inauguration of President Biden. Scalise says when you're in the Guard, you are supposed to leave your personal political beliefs at home. Scalise says,
When you put on the uniform you're a soldier and you do as your told. You can have any point of view you want, but you leave those views at home when you report for duty.
So far during his time on the Hill he has had the opportunity to meet several notable Senators and House of Representatives members. Scalise has had his picture taken with several key figures such as Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Elise Stefanik, Rep. Steve Scalise and others. Scalise says even though he misses home, this has been the greatest assignment he's drawn during his time in the Guard. You can see photos of all the Members of Congress he has had the chance to meet.