On Tuesday, a member of the Texas National Guard who was guarding the southern US border tragically committed suicide.
Unfortunately, Democratic candidate for governor of Texas Beto O’Rourke used the incident to subtly criticize Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
What specifics are there?
The soldier was entrusted with Operation Lone Star, a border security assignment that became necessary due to the ongoing border issue last year.
According to military records that the Army Times was able to get, the National Guardsman passed away at roughly 8:20 a.m. from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Eagle Pass, a border town on the hotspot of the border dispute, was the scene of the event.
Abbott released a statement in which he expressed his “great sadness” over the soldier’s demise.
The statement read, “Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the soldier. Texas National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety, and local law enforcement work together to coordinate the investigation under the direction of Texas Rangers. I kindly request that everyone in Texas join Cecilia and me in praying for the soldier’s family at this difficult time.”
The Texas Tribune reported that the soldier’s death marked the tragic fifth suicide associated with Operation Lone Star and the tenth total National Guardsman fatalities associated with the mission.
In the previous year, an investigation was brought on by the four suicides of soldiers that occurred in the space of just eight weeks.
The Texas Tribune has more.
“Insufficient pay and cramped housing circumstances plagued the troops on the operation when the first suicides connected to Operation Lone Star happened last year. According to polls of the mission’s troops that Army Times and the Tribune were able to access, many were also unhappy with the extensive involuntary activations that were necessary to achieve Gov. Greg Abbott’s military quotas.”
What was said by O’Rourke?
O’Rourke attacked Abbott in his statement in response to the revelation by saying Operation Lone Star is using Texas National Guardsmen as “political pawns.”
O’Rourke expressed his sorrow at learning that a tenth member of the Texas National Guard had died while serving overseas as part of Operation Lone Star.
He continued, “My sympathies are with his family, community, and the Guard members who served each of us with him. They must never be used as puppets in politics.”
But the soldiers aren’t being utilized as puppets in a political game.
Instead, despite immigration being a federal issue, Abbott began Operation Lone Star in March 2021 as a result of the Biden administration’s inability to appropriately address the influx of migrants crossing the southern border.
Since it began, a record number of migrants have entered the United States, leading to a record number of migrant deaths, so it looks that Operation Lone Star is necessary.
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