Thursday, September 22, 2005

Texas Guard And Reserves Not Home For Rita

As hurricane Rita bears down on the Texas coast, we can only hope that our leaders in the federal government have learned from their total meltdown in the face of Katrina and perform better at actually keeping Americans safe.

But, as we all very sadly observed in Katrina's wake, it's very difficult to mobilize quickly when the Army Reserve and Army National Guard troops intended for just such disasters, are half a world away. It's a sad irony that the Bush administration has chosen to have these troops deployed in a such a life-threatening environment, when they could be at home, with their own people, saving lives.

So, as we did with Louisiana and Mississippi, we're compelled to go to the Department of Defense web site and discover the precise deployment numbers for Texas Army Reserve and Army National Guard troops in Iraq.

According to the Defense Department document that shows “a cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel, who are currently mobilized,” a total of 8,784 Texas Reserve and Guard troops are currently serving in Iraq. The areas expected to be most heavily hit by Rita – Galveston, Corpus Christi and Houston -- are missing a total of 20 National Guard and Army Reserve units.

I'm sure all Texans would like to have them home right now, as much as these brave men and women would much rather be here than over there.