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West Virginia troops depart for the southern border

U.S. troops (West Virginia National Guard/Facebook)

Following a send-off ceremony Monday, 54 volunteer members of the West Virginia National Guard will depart today for the southern border as part of Operation Lone Star.

“You are heroes,” Gov. Jim Justice said to the volunteer troops during Monday’s send-off event. “You always do what you are doing right now. You always step up.”

Justice and West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General William “Bill” Crane applauded the troops for their participation in the 30-day volunteer deployment where they will assist the Texas Military Department with their ongoing efforts to secure the southern border.

While at the U.S./Mexico border, the West Virginia troops will work alongside the Texas National Guard and Texas law enforcement partners to detect and deter criminal activity between points of entry.

“What is going on at our southern border is chaos. It’s total chaos,” Justice said. “With all that being said how can we possibly expect a good result from what is going on with what you are seeing on television over and over.”

The West Virginia soldiers and airmen are all volunteers, according to the Republican governor. No National Guard units are being mobilized for the campaign.

“Gov. (Greg) Abbott has been great and really appreciative of our assistance,” Justice said, adding that the border must be secured to ensure that “bad things” don’t happen to West Virginia. He added “bad guys” are flooding narcotics into the country though the open border.

“We are a long ways away, but we should step up and do our part,” Justice said.

Abbott launched Operation Lone Star earlier this year in response to the flood of migrants who are crossing the southern border each day. The Texas governor directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking.”

A number of other Republican-controlled states, including neighboring Virginia, are participating in Operation Lone Star.

“Several governors are doing this because the situation on our southern border is terrible, and I want to make sure we’re doing our part,” Justice added. “So, I’m very proud to support our friends to the south. I know our National Guard will do incredible work, and we’ll wish them Godspeed to get home safe and sound. I thank them all for their incredible bravery and for stepping up yet again to answer the call.”

A message left with the governor’s office Monday by the Daily Telegraph — seeking information on whether any local Bluefield area troops were participating in the volunteer campaign — wasn’t immediately returned.


(c) 2023 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

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