WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHTM) — Thousands of National Guard members are in Washington for the Inauguration and the threat of more violence.
One of those guardsmen is 22-year-old Matt Brier, whose brother, Tom, ran for Congress last year, losing the Democratic nomination to Eugene Depasquale. That seat was won by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Cumberland, York, Dauphin Counties), but if things had gone differently, Matt would have been guarding his big brother.
Due to tight security and military protocols, Matt was not permitted to speak to us at the Capitol, but he has been talking to his brother.
“You know, for how hard Scott Perry tried, he couldn’t prevent a Brier from ending up in DC,” Tom Brier joked.
Baby Brier may be taller and stronger — that’s according to Tom — but his passion for his country is the same as his brother’s.
“I realized that democracy was at stake. I was genuinely horrified by the trajectory of our country, and Matt went into the military service, because he feels the same way I do. He’s committed to our country,” Tom Brier said.
Matt enlisted in the Delaware National Guard last summer after college. He got the call to go to DC early Thursday morning — after the dust cleared from the riots — and headed out.
“His guys haven’t slept more than six hours since Sunday. They don’t have a lot of material with them. This was a — like I said — a very spontaneous decision for them to go,” Tom Brier said.
It’s Matt’s first deployment, and he’s overseeing around two dozen troops. It’s surreal for his brother, who says he can’t believe why he’s there in the first place.
“You have to remember sometimes that it’s not a dream, that this is actually happening, but if there’s anybody who deserves to be down there and is prepared for it, it’s Matt,” Tom Brier said.
Matt and several thousand other guardsmen and women will likely stay through Inauguration Day, guarding what many thought was once impenetrable.
“I would just say, it’s one to take seriously. It’s not something to overlook. This isn’t a show. These are credible threats, and the people that are there are there for a reason,” Tom Brier said.
In a time where it feels like there’s no rhyme or reason, people like Matt answer the call.
“We should be grateful that this is still an opportunity in America where — in times like this — we still have people like my brother to protect us,” Tom Brier said.