A soldier on the ground in Iraq says the decision to pull some Missouri National Guardsmen off of riding shotgun with civilian convoys was politically motivated. State Representative Jim Avery from Crestwood is now serving as a specialist in a Missouri National Guard unit in Iraq clearing roadside bombs aimed at coalition convoys. He dismisses Governor Bob Holden’s reasons for wanting to pull another Guard unit off of duty guarding civilian contractors’ convoys. Avery says the complaints about having to guard the civilian convoys are unwarranted because they do carry military supplies essential to everyone on the ground. He suspects the motivation for withdrawing those guardsmen from that duty was political. Avery says despite this incident, Missouri Guardsmen are well-respected for the work they are doing in Iraq.
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