Military members from LI talk about securing Washington, DC following riots

With the Capitol building and his soldiers behind him, 1st Sgt. John O'Dougherty, of the New York Fighting 69th Infantry, talked about what it has been like protecting Washington, D.C.

News 12 Staff

Jan 22, 2021, 10:56 PM

Updated 1,275 days ago

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Long Islanders are among the thousands of military men and women on the ground in Washington, D.C. in the wake of the Capitol riots.
News 12 Long Island's Jackie Lukas spoke to two of the service members who have been protecting D.C. for nearly two weeks.
With the Capitol building and his soldiers behind him, 1st Sgt. John O'Dougherty, of the New York Fighting 69th Infantry, talked about what it has been like protecting Washington, D.C.
The 58-year-old from Valley Stream says they were mobilized in response to the deadly riots at the Capitol and says they were the first armed soldiers on the grounds of the Capitol in over a century. They have now been there for almost two weeks.
"I think it became surrealistic when we first got here for the guys," he says. "To see the sights of the capital with this beautiful architecture up against these stark black fences and razor wire - it made our capital look more like a correctional facility than a capital."
O'Dougherty is one of thousands on the ground protecting D.C. and making sure Inauguration Day was safe. He says he was located at the Library of Congress, directly across the street.
"We were here to ensure the peaceful transfer of government and that has happened, hopefully as the fences come down so too will tensions. We are here to do what we need to do," says O'Dougherty.
Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Garland Moore, of Roosevelt, is also currently stationed in Washington, D.C.
"There's just as many troops here as they had in Iraq and Afghanistan combined and that's something you would never think of," says Moore. "Up to the inauguration, I think times were tense because we didn't know what to expect."
Moore is also a detective with the Nassau Police Department. He shared photos of him and his unit sleeping on the floors of the Capitol building and the Supreme Court building.
Neither military official says they know when they'll be able to leave D.C. and come home to Long Island. Moore says his orders keep him there until at least Feb. 6.


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