President Donald Trump is approving the request from Governor Gretchen Whitmer to use National Guard units for COVID-19 related humanitarian missions around the state. The Governor is authorized to call up as many as 3 thousand guardsmen and women for up to 90 days of service.  Under federal Title 32 authorization, the guard members will remain under the control of the state but are added to the federal payroll program along with being able to get some federal benefits. About 40 members of the Michigan National Guard are already helping 4 local communities at food banks. An average of ten guardsmen and women are stationed at food banks in Ann Arbor, Comstock Park, Flint, and Pontiac. The state decided they are ideally suited for the work from directing traffic for the drive-through distribution sites, to packing bags of food and handing bags to cars. The distribution sites specifically asked the state for help. Since the Governor announced the Michigan National Guard’s involvement in the state-wide response to COVID-19 the middle of the month, they’ve been working to support transport logistics for medical supplies. They are also serving at two veterans' care facilities. One in Grand Rapids, and another in Marquette. One of the units involved is the Michigan National Guard 1433rd Engineering Company based at Fort Custer.

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