Guardsmen return from security duty at Olympics
Several members of the local Utah National Guard unit recently returned after providing security for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Most of the local guardsmen worked at the Olympic events for the last 45 days and are pleased to be home, but do not regret the experience.
Some of the workers were assigned through unit activation and others simply volunteered for the duties.
Terry Ericson, a local member of the Utah National Guard, was part of an activated unit that attended the Olympic events.
Ericson was stationed at various locations throughout the events, including the Homestead in Heber City and Soldier Hollow.
While stationed in Heber, Ericson had the opportunity to meet many of the Olympic athletes and their families and also several members of the international media.
Ericson's duties included searching bags and providing general security for the athletes housed at the Homestead.
Ericson also provided security at Soldier Hollow where he was able to watch much of the biathalon event.
"It was interesting being a part of the games. I was able to watch some of the biatholon event and meet athletes from across the globe," explained Ericson.
Troy Anderson was another guardsman who participated in Olympic security.
Anderson was stationed in Salt Lake, where he was able to provide security at several venues while working under the direction of the United States Secret Service and law enforcement agencies.
While volunteering at the Olympics, Anderson was part of security at the U.S. Secret Service warehouse, Little America Hotel and Olympic square.
Some of Anderson's duties included searching vehicles, bags, and operating the magnetometer (mag) or metal detector.
"The best part was working the mag. I was able to meet a lot of people, which was the best part of my duties. I was having fun while providing safety for all who attended the events," pointed out Anderson.
Although he worked long hours, sometimes without a break, Anderson said it was worth it.
"I never personally had any complaints. Many people would stand in line at the mag for quite awhile, but I never received any complaints, even when someone would have to walk through several times in order to clear the metal detector," he explained.