GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Some North Texas businesses will be feeling the effects of the pending National Guard deployment. Negative effects for some, positive for others.
Major General John Nichols, Texas Adjutant General says he believes they will get the 1000 volunteers needed to fill Governor Perry’s request, and have the first troops on the border in the next two weeks.
The border build-up could put a strain on small businesses in North Texas. Rick Alexander, CEO of VARsecure, a Grand Prairie security alarm company, says several of his employees have military backgrounds.
“These are competent people, they’ve proven their skills,” says Alexander.
Alexander faces doing without his Chief Operating Officer and a number of other workers with National Guard ties. Governor Perry has promised to send a thousand troops to the border.
“It could be significant for us, but we have to do what we have to do,” says Alexander, who supports using soldiers to help secure the border after a surge of Central American refugees entered Texas illegally. “It’s more important that we get the border problems under control. At some point in time you better take care of your borders just like a war zone.”
The first guardsmen could be deployed within two weeks and remain on the border for up to a year. They will work alongside state and federal agents in observation posts.
“Currently, the Department of Public Safety is in the observation posts. So they’ve got someone doing the same kind of mission. By us coming down there, we can free those posts and allow them to be more mobile and more responsive,” says Major Nichols.
Some North Texas businesses are already seeing a benefit. Brad Walker, at Army Navy Plus, says a lot of soldiers are coming in to buy boots and are eager to get them on the ground at the border.
Officials at the National Guard Armory in Dallas have had no comment on the deployment, other than to say training will happen almost immediately.
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