WUOMFM

greg vadnais

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The last Flint fire station distributing water to city residents will stop doing it by the end of this week.

Michigan National Guardsmen have been handing out cases of bottled water and filters at the fire station on Martin Luther King for months.

Gen. Greg Vadnais leads the Michigan National Guard. He credits the public’s support for the guard’s ability to respond to the city’s drinking water crisis.

“It’s really helped us to be able to complete our mission to provide the resources to them that they needed,” Vadnais sais last week.

Michigan Army National Guardsmen earlier this year.
Master Sgt. Sonia Pawloski / wikimedia commons

Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill to require that every National Guard facility have at least one armed solider on duty. The bill is in response to recent shootings at a U.S. Army base in Texas and a recruiting office in Tennessee.

“HB 5357 will ensure that security at our state military facilities is not left to chance and that personnel in every Michigan National Guard facility will be able to defend themselves and their colleagues from terrorist or other attack,” Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Midland) wrote in a recent email to supporters of his bill.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan National Guard is more than doubling its footprint in Flint.

Major General Greg Vadnais says the number of guardsmen handing out bottled water and filters at five fire stations will increase from 32 to 70 on Sunday.  

Vadnais says after staffing the fire stations for a few days, they realized the need for more boots on the ground.

Members of the Michigan National Guard preparing to help residents in Flint get access to clean drinking water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More Michigan National Guardsmen are on their way to help relief efforts in Flint.  

But not as many as you might expect.

Lead contamination has made Flint’s tap water undrinkable. The Michigan State Police, the American Red Cross and other groups are augmenting local efforts to distribute cases of bottled water, water filters and lead testing kits.

This week, Gov. Rick Snyder activated the Michigan Army National Guard. 

But don’t expect to see hundreds of guardsmen flooding the streets of Flint.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. military has been very active in Michigan and around the country this summer. 

The Pentagon insists it’s just routine training.   But others see something more sinister at work.