July 31, 2005
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From: Jon Healy [email him]
This weekend, I spent some time out in the desert south of Tucson, Arizona with the Minutemen.
When we got to our assigned post at around 7 p.m. we immediately secured a line—the main focus was on a riverbed that is frequented by smugglers running drugs and illegals,
Soon after we arrived, the Yuma Patriots showed up to participate in securing the line.
One of the Patriots told me about the battle in Yuma and the problems Yuma deals with on a daily basis. Not only do they have the constant onslaught of drug runners and coyotes, they are dealing with overrun schools, tax burden, crime, and disease—hepatitis and whooping cough are just some of the diseases.
At around 10:30 p.m., our radios were abuzz—9 to 12 illegals all dressed in black with ski masks, carpet on their feet so they don`t leave any footprints, and all packing drugs on their backs! They were all moving very quickly through the wash and some carrying long arms.
We caught it on film and we notified Border Patrol immediately. There were 12 agents, a helicopter and a biplane dedicated to the operation. Within 20 minutes the helicopter with infrared was flying above our heads with lights out, the biplane circled the area, and ground patrol was on foot. The search and pursuit was on and the Border Patrol agents were doing a superb job as we kept our line secured.
We all watched with amazement for about a half an hour. Then the BP warned us that the armed smugglers may be fleeing back to our location. We were ready with radios and cell phones in hand to inform the agents in the event they were spotted.
After all the excitement, we continued to monitor our line with no additional sightings. The BP agents called us and expressed their gratitude for our help and our presence. I spoke with some agents after our patrol and they said they support our efforts and that the Minutemen performed professionally and were a valuable tool for them.
By the end of our shift the Border Patrol informed us that they caught a total of a dozen illegals and found eight back packs full of drugs. Five were apprehended after a Minuteman spotted and reported their presence.
I was born in California in 1962 and raised in a middle class neighborhood. In school, we would start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance, with the understanding that some day, I, as well as every child in my class, could be called to defend this great country against "all enemies Foreign or Domestic." We learned about American history and the important role that individual citizens played. Without citizen involvement, this country would have never been the greatest nation in the world. I served in the military and swore to protect the Constitution and America.
We are constantly reminded of what life could be without liberty. Daily, we are invaded by people fleeing from Mexico and South America because of the crime, government corruption and poverty. The Government has lost control in Mexico and the drug lords have taken control. War is raging, citizens are victimized, lawlessness rules.
The Minutemen are a non-profit organization and rely on donations. All the Minutemen pay their own travel and lodging as well as food. We all have to buy hand radios as well.
No Minuteman has complained about the personal cost because they know how much they are needed. It`s a small sacrifice to help protect their country.
We volunteer our time, money and safety, not because we will get something in return, but that it`s our job—because we are Americans.