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Utah State U. National Guard students help with Olympic security

By U Wire

LOGAN?Students from Utah State University who serve in the National Guard will be helping to make sure Utah is safe during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Although it is difficult to tell how many students serve in the Guard and how many will actually be called on active duty, the number is still high, said Terry Haslam, public affairs assistant for the Utah National Guard.

“A good number [of the Guard] are students,” Haslam said. “There is a high percentage of our people who are in all kinds of educational programs.”

Gov. Mike Leavitt issued the call for the National Guard to help and there will be at least 1,900 serving from Utah. Some 1,200 could be coming from other states.

“This means virtually all of the Utah National Guard will be activated by the time the 2002 Winter Olympics begin Feb. 8,” according to the KSL Web site.

Haslam said most of those called for security purposes during the Olympics will not be called to duty for longer than is needed. These people will be serving in Olympic venues, the Salt Lake City International Airport and other areas as Salt Lake needs, according to a KSL broadcast. They will only be there a couple of days before the Olympics and a few days afterward.

“The bulk of those doing security will be called up during the Olympics,” Haslam said.

However, there are some students and other Guard members “involved in many other things besides security,” Haslam said.

Some students are fulfilling other assignments right now. Some are serving in Kuwait, while others are working in President Bush’s Homeland Defense program. Haslam said some members of the Utah Guard are working on setting up a military headquarters in Draper, Utah.

Haslam said since so many students are working for the National Guard it is raising many issues for those enrolled in school and are using grants or student loans to pay for it.

“Some people on tuition assistance are being called to active duty,” he said.

This is a problem raising some concern because the Guard doesn’t know if some students will need to miss the entire semester. Haslam said this is a problem they are trying to solve right now.

U Wire

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