Brothers in Arms

Oklahoma Army National Guard members and brothers Sgt. Kade Silvers (right) and Sgt. Korbin Silvers, both of Enid, pose at the U.S. Capitol building before beginning their shift monitoring the inner ring of security around the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 19. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones)

ENID, Okla. — Two Enid brothers are among the Oklahoma soldiers and airmen returning from Washington, D.C., where they helped provide security for the nation’s 59th presidential inauguration on Wednesday.

Sgt. Kade Silvers and Sgt. Corbin Silvers, both from Enid, were among about 400 Oklahoma Army National Guard and Air National Guard troops called up to serve with the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and “help preserve the integrity of” the inauguration, according to an article published by the 45th.

Kade Silvers enlisted as a combat engineer in the Oklahoma National Guard six years ago out of a “sense of patriotism.” Korbin Silvers joined two years after Kade, attributing his brother’s service as the reason for joining the National Guard. The brothers were deployed to the Capitol with Alpha Co., 545 Brigade Engineer Battalion of the 45th Infantry.

Troops from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were augmented from the 138th Fighter Wing, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, 137th Special Operations Wing and the 90th Troop Command “to protect the United States Capitol and support the presidential inauguration,” according to the article published by the 45th.

The troops were sworn in as special police by the U.S. Capitol Police for their mission to protect the U.S. Capitol from any disturbance aimed at deterring the inauguration or causing disruption.

Capt. Jennifer Proctor, 138th Chief of Public Affairs, Oklahoma Air National Guard, said the Silvers brothers were among Guard troops who reported for duty on Jan. 15, and were deployed to D.C. on the 17th.

The joint Oklahoma National Guard task force began providing security at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 19.

Kade said he had “mixed emotions” when he found out he and Korbin would be deployed together to protect the inauguration.

“I thought, ‘Holy cow, we’re going to get to go somewhere we’ve never been,’ but also I was a little nervous from what had happened here before,” Kade said, referring to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol during a joint session of Congress.

The brothers joined about 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country in patrolling the Capitol before and providing protection during the inauguration.

While in the D.C., the brothers and their unit were billeted in a motel, but during lag time between patrols they were posted inside the Library of Congress.

Korbin said it was humbling to be inside the Library of Congress, to be protecting the city and “to be able to see the nation’s Capitol.”

“There is a sense of pride that goes with it,” Kade added. “Not many people get that opportunity. It’s kind of special knowing we got to come up here and see it, and do this together — it was pretty cool.”

Carol Manning, Kade and Korbin’s mother, said in an article provided by the Oklahoma National Guard she has a great sense of pride for her sons.

When asked how she felt about having both of her sons serve in the Army National Guard, she said, “It was not my first choice for them, but I could not be more proud of the young men they have become.”

She said she was anxious for their return home.

“This is stressful because of the possibility of both of them being placed in harms way,” Manning said, adding her concern also stemmed from becoming a new grandmother, as Kade left his 5-month-old son at home while he served at the Capitol.

The Silvers family’s history of service to their country runs deep. They have a grandfather and great-grandfather, both of whom served in the Army.

But, their service does not end when the Army fatigues are packed away.

Korbin currently serves as a new firefighter with Enid Fire Department, and Kade, a mechanic at P&K Equipment, hopes to serve with Enid Police Department.

Lt. Col. Matthew Emerson, commander of the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, lauded the security task force for its speed of deployment and professionalism.

“This was not a typical deployment with a 90-day lead time,” he said. “This was a quick mobilization of diverse groups across the state.

“These airmen and soldiers demonstrated the Oklahoma standard to the nation,” Emerson said. “They were consummate professionals as they stood their posts in extremely challenging conditions with virtually no breaks.” Emerson said. “This is an experience that none of them will forget. Nothing compares to the pride these airmen felt defending our nation’s Capitol, supporting the Constitution and ensuring a smooth transition to a new administration.”

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, likewise thanked all those who helped secure the inaugurations.

“Thank you to the National Guard members who supported the inauguration and to those who simultaneously continued responding to COVID-19 or serving overseas,” Hokanson said. “Like our forefathers, you prove every day our motto, ‘Always Ready, Always There,’ remains steadfast and true. I am honored to serve alongside you.”

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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