Guard soldier on Texas border operation missing along the Rio Grande

Construction workers build a border wall in Mission, Texas, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

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A Texas Army National Guard soldier assigned to Gov. Greg Abbott’s highly touted border operation went missing in a mission-related incident along the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass on Friday.

The Texas Military Department said in a statement it was working with the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol to rapidly find the soldier. A Texas DPS spokesperson also confirmed to Military Times and The Texas Tribune that a servicemember was missing.

Earlier in the day, a Fox News reporter said on social media that a Texas Guard soldier had died while trying to rescue migrants on the river and that a body had been recovered. The reporter later said the body recovered was not the soldier’s and possibly belonged to a migrant.

The military department said the search for the soldier remains ongoing.

“The soldier has not been found,” the department said in a statement signed by the public affairs staff.

Two soldiers, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, told Military Times and the Tribune that commanders in the sector have issued an order banning troops from entering the water in the wake of the incident.

The missing soldier’s name has not been released and the military department said more details will be released as they become available.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the Army. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Before journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.