Edna native pulls guard duty in D.C.
By Michael Brooks, Staff Writer
When Joe Biden stepped to the podium to deliver his speech to the nation on inauguration morning, the Washington D.C weather stood at 46 degrees and snow flurries blew in a gusting breeze. As the divided nation watched, one Edna resident stood still in the cold, doing the task that was assigned to her; guarding against any situations that might arise.
Texas National Guard Corporal Lindsey Crabb of Edna stood, listening to the President deliver his speech, alongside her battalion.
“I got a text at 7 p.m. on January 13 pretty much saying that my battalion will be standing up a task force for potential civil disturbance response at the Capitol during the time of the inauguration,” Crabb said. “Twelve hours later I reported to my home station armory with little to no information about how long we would be there, what our lodging situation would look like, if there would even be lodging arrangements, etc. I really didn’t even care. All I knew was that this was going to go down in history and I wanted to be a part of it.”
With up to as many as 26,000 troops reported to be covering the inauguration and civilians not allowed access, everything went smoothly despite the weather.
“All civilian access to the National Mall was completely shut down,” Crabb continued. “We were inside multiple perimeters with secret service check points at every entrance, so aside from the usual army madness, thankfully there was nothing particularly crazy that I witnessed.
“The weather was less than ideal, the shifts were long and (thankfully) uneventful. Sleep didn’t exist anymore, but overall it was an experience I’ll never forget,” she said.
Once the inauguration was over and while the President made his way to the White House, Crabb and her battalion were able to leave the perimeter around the Capitol building. Soldiers are never certain what may await them around the next corner, but some things were more unexpected than others and the soldiers were aware of the other soldiers who were left in a strange situation.
"You should definitely always expect a certain level of disorganization in the military, but for the people who requested our presence to be the same ones who kicked soldiers out of the Capitol to sleep in a parking garage in sub-freezing temperatures, I don’t think anyone expected that,” Crabb said.
Aside from the once-in-a-lifetime chance to guard a Presidential inauguration, Crabb also met former presidential candidate and Utah Senator Mitt Romney, but the cold temperature kept her away from seeing any other notables.
“Meeting Mitt Romney was interesting,” Crabb explained. “We were outside the Library of Congress getting ready to stage inside on the sixth floor and he walked by, stopped to talk to us for a bit, and went on about his morning. I was so cold and sleep deprived that the excitement was short lived, but it was still a moment that made it that much more memorable. Unfortunately I missed Lady Gaga singing the national anthem because I finally got to go on break, but the hot coffee was worth it.”
And to top off her memorable, although required, trip, Crabb came back home with a promotion.
“Being promoted to a Non-commissioned officer is one of the biggest moments in any soldiers career. There are no more excuses, no more free passes, you are held accountable for not only yourself but for the soldiers underneath you and if they mess up, it comes down on you.
“But aside from that, it’s a great privilege to wear the stripes because now it’s my turn to lead and mold junior enlisted soldiers into future NCO’s and I take pride in that. I get to be the leader that I never had and it’s a challenge that I gladly accept and look forward to.”
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott recalled the Texas National Guard troops and Crabb’s battalion returned home safely last week.