I became involved in politics around April 2005 with very little wisdom. Being a Ham Radio Operator, I received an email (Thanks Jim Gilchrist) from Arizona asking for assistance on the Arizona desert. Another Ham (N5JXB) & I (N5KOU) volunteered 2 weeks in Cochise County Arizona. Mind you our government officials advised the Mexican of our patrol locations to limit our effectiveness.
Upon returning to Texas, we formed the Texas Minutemen Inc. and had our 1st townhall in El Paso, Texas. We visited Presidio, Texas and Laredo, Texas for a possible Border Watch area. While we were in Laredo the El Paso sheriff was being interviewed and was asked if he wanted the Texas Minutemen in the El Paso area. His response was “Do I want them here. No. Am I invited them. Yes. So El Paso would be our 1st Patrol area. We started advertising on Public Radio. I received a call from MCDC in Arizona asking us to join their origination. I advised them that Texas had the biggest border and that we’d take it from here! They immediately became hostile and advised me that I wasn’t sanctioned by MCDC. I told them that we didn’t need to be sanctioned by them. So MCDC started their propaganda. It became necessary for me to fund the border watch. We completed our border watch October 1st until October 31st and were very successful stopping illegal immigration as well as drug traffickers.
With a successful border watch we returned on April 1st, 2006 – April 31st, 2006, for another month-long border watch. This time we added an air patrol with a cost of $10,500.00 for aviation fuel that I had to absorb. We had over 200 volunteers through the month and once again achieved success! We received support from landowners for our efforts. They support us even today in the El Paso Sector.
In September 2006 it was decided that we would have a 2-month border watch with the 1st 30 day in Laredo and the 2nd month being El Paso. We utilized a helicopter (Thanks to Tom Bishop) & plane (Thanks to Glen Spencer) to assist in the Laredo area. We patrolled Farm Road 1142 “Old Mines Road” that runs between Eagle Pass & Laredo. We ended up crashing the helicopter before the border watch ended. With the Laredo border watch completed we traveled to El Paso.
So, on October 1st, 2006 – October 31st, 2006, we started the El Paso border watch with support from the landowners. We had air & ground patrol that were very effect at stopping illegal immigration. The border patrol headquarters would listen to us on our radio frequency and respond to us on theirs. We would direct border patrol agents to the locations we spotted from the air. With another border watch completed we return home to recharge our batteries.
From 2007 – 2010 we patrolled El Paso & Presidio twice a month. By this time Donald Trump’s border wall was completed for the most part we knew we could focus on different areas of the border.
- a call (2018) from Brownsville, Texas asking for help. The gentleman (Rusty – deceased) asked for our group to come down and help at the “Farm”. We came down and secured the farm and traveled to where the Rio Grande dumps into the Gulf. There’s about 50 yards from the US bank to the Mexico bank. The Farm sits right on the river with border patrol patrolling it constantly. Rusty has passed since our last border watch, and we don’t go down there much anymore.
Since 2013 I’ve been battling health concerns that have followed me till this day. CHD, CHF and Stage 4 Renal Failure. My ride might be over soon. I hope not but it’s been a free fall since 2013. I’m still active on the border but move slower.
We are currently looking for volunteers [email protected] to help with our next border watch between Del Rio – Big Bend. We are looking for serious individuals that know what’s at stake with our country.
Shannon N5KOU McGauley
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