Governor Butch Otter just issued this statement, in advance of President Bush’s nationally televised address tonight:
“Idahoans serving with my old outfit, the Idaho Army National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade, spent 18 months deployed for their mission in Iraq.
“DOD regulations state that units may not be deployed more than 24 months over a five-year period. That would suggest the 116th has only six months left before exceeding the two-year limit. As most units sent to Iraq are staying longer than six months, I think it unlikely the 116th will get that call.
“Additionally, many of the unit's equipment needs have not been addressed since returning from Iraq. Members also are in the middle of transitioning from tanks to armored personnel carriers, and that training is still underway.
“For all of these reasons I believe it unlikely that the 116th will be recalled for active duty in Iraq. Idaho families already have made tremendous personal sacrifices for this war. I would certainly make a personal and persuasive argument to the President that our men and women have gone above and beyond.
“However, if the order comes, the men and women of the Idaho National Guard have told me they will answer the call to duty as they always have, once again proving that we owe them all an incalculable debt of gratitude.”