On the day Joe Biden took the presidential oath of office at the Capitol, one of the 26,000 National Guard troops who came to protect that ceremony had one of his own.
The picture that emerged was far different than the ones of armed troops guarding the building, or of Guardsmen temporarily forced to take breaks in a garage before lawmakers and the public professed outrage over the images.
Raising his right hand in the Capitol rotunda, in front of John Trumbull’s painting of the “Surrender of Lord Cornwallis,” Ohio Army National Guard Spc. Cory Wise reenlisted for another six years with Company C, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment.
Capt. Sascha Miller, Wise’s commanding officer, administered the oath.
Wise “said he couldn’t think of a more fitting place to restate his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution than in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol,” Stephanie Beougher, a spokeswoman for the Ohio National Guard, told Military Times Monday.
The 26,000 National Guard troops were called to D.C. from all 50 states and three territories in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Five people died as a result, including Capitol Police officer and Air Force veteran Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the riot.
In his civilian life, Wise, who first enlisted in 2012, owns a landscaping company that does business in central and southwestern Ohio, Beougher said.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.