FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM) – Sweating, sunburned and weighed down under a camouflaged helmet and field gear, Angel Pulido was still smiling.
After his annual Texas Army National Guard training this week, the 20-year-old will go to work. Instead of a border in the Middle East though, he’ll be on the border of Mexico.
Pulido is among the soldiers who have volunteered to be part of the force Governor Rick Perry is sending to assist with an influx of border crossings.
The deployment comes as 6,000 members of the 36th Infantry Division are training at Fort Hood. Some of them, including North Texas based soldiers, have volunteered for the deployment.
It’s unlikely specific training exercises including missile launches, and insurgent attacks on supply convoys will come into play. The deployment is happening though as the Guard is turning training away from urban combat, and back to traditional methods.
Brigadier General Lester Simpson said basic preparedness, results in soldiers ready for any mission, whether overseas in combat or helping people with a bottle of water back in the U.S.
For volunteers like Pulido, it is a chance to finally be involved, after two years of training.
“I’m just motivated to go you know,” he said. “Ready to do something,”
Lt. Christina Cheung who volunteered for a deployment to Iraq 10 years ago, said she didn’t think her mindset would be any different with a mission at the border.
“I know that where we go, we’re deployed to help,” she said. “We’re deployed to do good things. And I believe this mission is going to give us the chance to do another great thing for the Texas community.”
The troops are still not clear on exactly when or where they will deploy following training.
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