When they left us, they were the largest callup of Missouri National Guard soldiers since World War One. Almost half a world away they are peace-keepers and diplomats.
The Missouri Guard members in Kosovo set up vehicle checkpoints to stop the movement of weapons and explosives throughout the country. It’s less a matter of stopping terrorism than it is a matter of keeping order and moving the country toward the civil rule of law.
Kosovo is a country splintered by religious differences and ethnic divisions.
Brigadier General Larry Kay, the commander of the Missourians, says the soldiers deal each day with political and religious leaders. He says Missouri troops are visible in towns and villages because they "are here for the promise that we will not tolerate violence; we won’t tolerate those who support violence; and we won’t tolerate anything that funds violence, such as narcotics trafficking or human trafficking."
That’s one reason they try to stop trafficking in guns — because weapons can undermine the country’s stability and its development.