(Washington, DC)  --  Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, are leading an effort by lawmakers to protect the National Guard.  The three are part of a group of lawmakers that’s urging the Secretary of Defense to strengthen the National Guard in next year’s Army budget.  The effort is to fight off proposals that would reduce the Army National Guard to 315-thousand soldiers.  That’s 35-thousand fewer than pre-9-11 levels.