Valley Farmer Reminisces National Guard Past Presence on Rio Grande

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ESCOBARES – Some of the farmers in South Texas have land along the Rio Grande.

A Rio Grande Valley farmer has a personal vendetta against the illegal activity coming from Mexico.

“I have four children; I’ve lost two of them to drugs,” said Ruperto Escobar.

Escobar hopes the additional troops who are on their way may help again. He tells us his land represents decades of cultivation and generations.

"Before the lines were drawn before the borders were designated. We were here before all of that,” said Escobar.

Farmer and Army veteran Ruperto Escobar's family started farming the hundreds of acres of land in 1776.

Their hay grows from the water in the Rio Grande. He knows illegal activity happens near his hard work and home.

"But if we can stop 50 percent of the illegal drugs coming across here. They come I've seen them at night, I hear them. I don't actually see them but I hear them zooming back and forth," he said. 

Escobar said one way to stop the crossings is having the military here. He was here when the first set of soldiers came to the border. He said he signed their permission slip to be on his land.

"They came in, they camped, they had a tent. They had their Humvees and it was a group of about four that would come and stay there, and it seemed like they were there day and night,” said Escobar.

He explained the troops had a great vantage point on a bluff that overlooks the river.

"You can see an army coming from across the way and if you're sitting here with your good binoculars and night vision goggles and whatever you can see everything,” he said. 

Escobar said if they do come he has one request for the government.

“Let them be the eyes the hands the boots to be out there, but don't give them weapons. Maybe one out of every squadron or every four guys, maybe one needs a sidearm to defend themselves in case of an emergency,” he said. 

Escobar explained the military only assists Border Patrol. He said they can cause criminals to take another route.

At this time we don't know where the National Guard will be set up or when. 

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