Biden calls for stronger voice for National Guard

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says the National Guard deserves a stronger voice within the Defense Department, given its role in the war on terror.

In a speech to the National Guard Association of the United States conference in Baltimore on Monday, Biden noted that more than half of the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are guardsmen and reservists.

With citizen soldiers carrying such a burden, Biden says Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, slated to become the first four-star general to head the National Guard, deserves a seat at the table with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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