Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday he will be replacing outgoing leader of the Texas Military Department, Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, with a new general.
Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Suelzer took over the post as of Monday, replacing Norris, who oversaw the deployment of Texas troops to the Southern border, where they began complaining of unlivable conditions, unclear missions, and lack of appropriate gear.
After months of complaints and criticism, Norris’ tenure ended on February 1 and Abbott made the decision to replace her.
Norris and other military members were further criticized when several troops who had participated in Operation Lone Star committed suicide as a result of their experiences at the border. Her replacement, Maj. Gen. Suelzer is the former leader of the Texas Air Guard.
Some lawmakers are not convinced the change will bring about the desired results. “I’ll believe there is positive change when I see it,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso). “Maj. Gen. Suelzer, please let me be the first to say: Send our Guard members home.” Others place the blame for the operation’s failure on the Governor himself.
Beto O’Rourke, who will challenge Abbott in the 2022 midterms, spoke out against Abbott directly. “You can switch Generals, but we all know where the buck stops. Greg Abbott took 10,000 Guard members from their families, jobs, and communities,” O’Rourke said in a statement.
“He has treated them with incredible disrespect as he has delayed their pay, cut their tuition benefits in half, and used them as political pawns in his re-election campaign. It’s time to bring them back home.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BORDERREPORT.COM