Calls to extend Colorado National Guard deployment intensify

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado National Guard’s current deployment could end on June 24 if an extension is not granted. Gov. Jared Polis has publicly called on the White House to extend the deployment through the end of the year. 

There are about 400 men and women from the National Guard in Colorado serving under a federal deployment. In a statement from he governor’s office, he said they are crucial front-line responders and boosted the state’s ability to test, monitor and respond to the crisis.

But there is an additional reason Polis, along with several other lawmakers, are pushing for that deployment extension. It has to do with additional benefits hundreds of service members would miss out on. 

Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado said there are extra retirement and college tuition benefits for a 90-day deployment. In Colorado, June 24 would mark the 89th day of deployment. 

“You can stand up and serve your community and take time away from your life to address the crisis, and we are going to cut you off of your benefits a day short. And that’s the entirely wrong message to send,” said Crow. 

“This is wrong to deprive them of one day of duty and thereby deny them the benefits they have earned by putting themselves at risk,” said Polis during a Wednesday press conference. 

In a recent report by Politico, a spokesperson for the National Guard said a decision to extend the deployments could still be made in the coming weeks. 

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