Several Texas media outlets are reporting that many of the National Guard troops deployed to secure the border by Governor Rick Perry haven’t been paid and are unable to pay for food or gas.
The San Antonio Express News reported that “The Texas National Guard contacted a Rio Grande Valley food bank Thursday to ask whether the charity had food and gasoline resources for about 50 soldiers who are in need of assistance because they have not yet received a paycheck.”
KGBT Action 4 News in the Rio Grande Valley has been conducting an in-depth investigation of the situation and received confirmation on Friday 0f that report.
“Our troops should be well fed, ready to their job/duty/assignment and we shouldn’t have to be referring them to food banks”, State Representative Rene Oliveira said.
After our investigation, State Representative Oliveira had a conference call with Brigadier General Patrick Hamilton who confirms 50 troops deployed to the valley put in applications for assistance with the armory in Weslaco, and that the person who took that information should have gone to superiors in the National Guard but instead reached out to the Food Bank RGV for food for the troops.
“I don’t believe the local armory should have ever referred any of these troops to the food bank. I think they were trying to be helpful, but that’s not what we should be doing in Texas,” the state representative said.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal also reported that “Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis sent out a press release saying she would visit the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday to deliver food to National Guard troops.”
“Whether you agree that we need the National Guard or the additional deputy sheriffs that I have previously called for to secure the border, it is shameful that our troops would be sent to keep us safe without basic supplies like food,” Davis said.
I'll be in the Rio Grande Valley tomorrow packaging food for our National Guard troops who are securing our border: http://t.co/xxU4cqKjCr
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) August 29, 2014
As reported by the Texas Tribune:
State Rep. Jose Menedez, D-San Antonio, the chairman of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, said that volunteers from the National Guard’s soldier and family support services contacted a food bank on behalf of the Guard units. The food bank was identified as a “resource for soldiers who needed food” or other goods while they wait on their paychecks, he said, adding that while Guard members are allotted $36 per day for food, they must pay out of pocket until they are paid.
“The problem here is that the state is deploying them and not asking ‘Hey, are you going to be OK until your check comes?’,” he said.
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