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DES MOINES, Iowa - The nation's governors voiced sharp worries Saturday for the National Guard troops they share with the federal government, saying changes caused by the huge demands of the war in Iraq need more examination.

More than 30 governors gathered here for their summer meeting, where they were scheduled to meet privately on Monday with top officials of the Guard, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Homeland Security Department.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the Republican incoming chairman of the National Governors Association, said more attention must be paid to the needs of Guard members returning from overseas deployments, especially younger members who need to find work.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Round, a Republican, said the Guard's recruiting system still works, but the stresses of the war are showing.

He is concerned that troops returning from the war zone may resign if their spouses and parents raise objections to continued service. "The second time around, will they be allowed to re-enlist? That's the question," he said.

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat, said leaders need to consider ways to accommodate older members of the Guard and Reserves who want to do their part but cannot be expected to undertake long-term, overseas deployment when they have careers and families.

States often rely on their Air and Army Guard units to help in emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes or riots. The part-time soldiers are not often brought under federal control for missions such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There has been an easing of worries among governors that the overseas demands would leave states without the National Guard members needed to respond to state emergencies. Warner said Guard officials have offered assurances they would limit call-ups.

But bigger questions remain, he said. "I don't feel we've had the full deliberations about what the role of the Guard will be," said Warner, who has been exploring a possible presidential bid.

"Most governors would say we're putting more strain on our Guard and Reserves than many people are fully comfortable with," said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican.

More than 250,000 National Guard troops have been mobilized for active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, the Army general in charge of National Guard forces.

"You haven't seen these kinds of participation from the states since the Civil War," Idaho's GOP Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said.

National Guard soldiers represent about 40 percent of the U.S. ground force in Iraq. That is scheduled to drop significantly next year when the Army deploys two newly expanded active-duty divisions - the 101st Airborne and the 4th Infantry.

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