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Citizen soldiers are in training for the Olympics

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The number of citizen soldiers called up to work security during the Olympics continues to grow. Members of the National Guard and Reserve from Utah and 38 other states are getting ready for the job ahead.

During the Games, the Delta Center will be the Salt Lake Ice Center. And during the Games, National Guard and Reservist Troops will stand guard.

Monday, the city and the state pledged their support for that service.

Citizen soldiers are in training for the Olympics. Members of the National Guard arrived at Camp Williams earlier this month. About 2,000 are already here, another 3,000 will arrive in the weeks to come.

Nineteen hundred are Utahns - the largest call-up in state history. The rest come from 38 other states.

Bobby Hollingsworth directs the National Committee for Employer Support, a liason between the soldiers and their employers.

"This is one of the largest ones that has ever occurred," Hollingsworth said. "And it's an ever-increasing dynamic because of certain requirements that have occurred through the intelligence aspects and so forth."

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Governor Mike Leavitt and Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney signed a statement of support to recognize the sacrafice of the employers, when their employees are called to duty.

By being supportive of the Guard and Reserve, even though they're not uniformed themselves, they do have a part to play in national defense.

The troops will secure venues, search cars, and screening spectators for weapons. Most will be activated for up to 45 days.

"We're beginning to work in the venues to secure them in preparation for the Games, that's under way at this time," said Maj. General Brian Tarbet of the Utah National Guard. "It doesn't all come up at the same time, it happens in stages."

While most have left families and jobs behind, they welcome the opportunity to be part of this mission on the world stage.

Hollingsworth said, "When you talk to theses young men and women, they are so motivated to come out and be a part of this. It's unreal."

You'll start to see them around Salt Lake City and the venues. They'll be visible, but not obtrusive.