Breakneck pace of crises keeps National Guard away from home

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SHADDADI, Syria (AP) — Over the past year, National Guard members have been called in to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and race riots. Army Col. Scott Desormeaux and his soldiers are on a dusty base near Syria’s northern border, assisting Syrian rebel forces battle Islamic State militants, and keeping an eye on Russian troops in the region. Others are distributing vaccines, spending months on office cots or in hotels far from home. While Guard leaders say America’s citizen soldiers are upbeat, they worry about exhaustion setting in and wonder how much longer U.S. businesses can do without their long-absent workers.

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