National Guard on the Border
While the world's attention is on the Middle East, our southern border remains under pressure by those who want American prosperity without its responsibilities. A National Guardsman from Virginia was amazed by the shear volume and speed of people coming across illegally.
"I believe 95 percent of the people in this country have no clue of what it's like down here," says Sgt. Jacobs, a bear of a man with a vise-grip handshake. "I know I had no idea how many people come over this border every day and the weird things they do to get across.
"They'll do anything to get into the United States, often coming over with just the clothes on their back," he says. "And it's not just here; this happens all along the border. I was very surprised at what I saw when we first arrived, but I am here to protect my country, and I will stay as long as they need me."
Sgt. Jacobs, who lives in Fort A.P. Hill, Va., is among 350 Virginia National Guard soldiers and airmen deployed along the border as part of "Operation Jump Start."
Even though the number of Guardsmen on the border is not significant, their impact is being felt. Most importantly they are seeing first hand the extent of the problem and are spreading the news back home to places that are not as impacted by the illegal immigration problem as the border states and Washington DC Area where I live are.
All of the 6,199 Guard troops stationed in the border states volunteered for the mission. Among them is Spc. Travis Arnold of the Wisconsin National Guard, who also served a year in Iraq. He says he plans to help secure the border for two years.
"This certainly has been an eye-opening experience," Spc. Arnold says. "Immigration is not a huge issue in Wisconsin. It was the sheer number of people coming over that border that surprised me the most. I had no idea how many people jump that fence every day."
Spc. Arnold works eight-hour shifts at the Border Patrol field office in Nogales. He and a partner, Spc. Kirstin Schultz, monitor live border-surveillance videos on more than 40 television screens. Their job is to report to the Border Patrol any incursions by illegal aliens or drug smugglers.
"I didn't realize just how quickly they come over the fences," Spc. Schultz says. "We are the agents' eyes until they make contact, and we can get them additional help if they get into trouble."
The threat from Islamo Fascism requires our utmost attention, but the security of our border is a priority that must remain near the top. Many thanks to those who are serving there now.
immigration, politics, Islamic fascists, military