LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

PLANO There's a picture in Andrew White's Plano living room of him at three years old, dressed up for Halloween in a tiny soldier's uniform.

'I'm one of those people I can honestly say, I'm living my boyhood dream,' he said.

As a boy, White knew what he wanted. As a man, he knows politics don't matter... only a mission does.

'It's really not our place as service members to judge or question,' he said, 'we just do.'

'It's not our place to make policy or judge decisions. We simply follow orders,' he added.

Maj. Andrew White is a member of the Texas National Guard, and he hosts a radio show called 'A Voice for Veterans' on KVCE AM 1160.

He is now waiting to see if jhe will be among the 1,000 or so Texas National Guardsmen Gov. Rick Perry is ordering to the border. Perry says two crises are unfolding along the state's southern edge. While tens of thousands of unaccompanied children are pouring in, he says criminals are sneaking in.

'As the brave men and women of our Border Patrol are pulled away from their law enforcement duty to give humanitarian aid, drug cartels, human traffickers, and individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities,' he said.

So Perry is sending in backup in the form of the National Guard. They're being called 'force multipliers,' meaning they're multiplying the manpower already in place.

The Guard says its mission is to 'deter and refer,' which means to deter border crossings with their physical presence, and refer immigrants they spot to agents who can arrest them.

The Guard's role will be to support law enforcement already in place. They can patrol the border on the ground and provide air support with additional choppers equipped with night-vision capabilities, and temporarily watch over criminals taken into custody by law enforcement.

But they cannot make arrests or act as police officers or federal agents.

The deployment does have critics.

The sheriff of Hidalgo County, which is home to McAllen, told the local paper he is not in favor of bringing the Guard to the border, saying they're trained in warfare, not law enforcement. He told them he'd rather the mission's $12 million monthly price tag be redirected to local police.

Fernando Garcia of the Border Network for Human Rights doesn't like the plan, either.

'They keep insisting the only solution to deal with these children is soldiers and the National Guard. For us, this is out of proportion and doesn't make any sense,' he said.

Perry says this isn't about the kids; it's about criminals,

Andrew White says he will simply stand ready. He says it does not matter what he's called to do or who calls him to do it.

'We don't put politics in there. Our uniform is green. It's not red and it's not blue, it's green, and we serve the nation, plain and simple. In this case, we're serving our state,' he said.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/border-crisis/2014/08/21/14241282/