I verified that the pistol loaded with hollow points and stun gun/flashlight was still in his truck. These were the questions I asked my husband every day while he worked on the border of Texas and Mexico as an engineer in the oilfield. Since we live in Austin, I was initially naive about what was actually happening on our own soil.
It didn’t take long for me to see the realities of working on the border. It began with the training my husband received. The instructions from the safety officer of the publicly-traded oilfield services company were clear – do not stop to help people on the side of the road in south Texas and run them over if need be. The drug cartel has stolen trucks belonging to oilfield service companies and even duplicated the look of trucks used in the oilfield to smuggle drugs into the United States. For this reason they will have people in the roadways that appear to be injured, but are not. The safety officer stated that if someone was in your way you should run them over. Even if they appeared to be injured or have blood on them, RUN THEM OVER and do not stop. I never imagined the day my husband would need to pack heat to go to work, much less be instructed to run people over with his vehicle so they didn’t steal it and kill him. May I remind you that this is still within the great state of Texas and the United States?
A few months later, Oilman was working on a prominent South Texas ranch as dawn approached. He could barely make out men walking in the distance. They were wearing all black, walking in formation, and didn’t belong on the ranch, which meant that it was very likely they were drug runners. He gave them as much space as possible and decided it was pertinent to notify ranch security. Security looked him in the eye, told him not to mention it again, and stated he didn’t see anyone. Both the company Oilman worked for and the ranch had a no guns policy. After this encounter we decided as a family that we didn’t care what the rules were and being armed was a necessity. Because Oilman would be opening and closing ranch gates in the dark of the morning or late at night, he purchased a stun gun/flashlight. People can be hiding near a gate to wait for someone to open or close it. They will injure or kill you and then steal your vehicle. He also had a pistol loaded with hollow points. I just hoped he never had to use it and luckily he didn’t… other oilfield families aren’t so lucky.
While Oilman was near the border, I read two very different stories from the news on the same day. One featured a White House correspondent telling the American people that there were zero signs of the drug cartel in the United States. The other news article was about two oilfield workers who were beheaded on an isolated country road that my husband frequented in order to get to work. Signs clearly pointed at evidence that it had something to do with the drug cartel.
As the presidential election heats up and border security becomes another polarizing topic, please know that it is an important one. Our borders and our country are not safe. It baffles me that the violence and crimes are happening on our soil and many people are completely oblivious. More importantly, people just don’t really seem to care.
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