Don’t mess with Texas — even if you’re the U.S. military.
When U.S. Special Forces show up in Texas to perform military drills as part of “Operation Jade Helm,” there will be plenty of civilians on guard to keep an eye on them.
Eric Johnson, 51, a retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy, will oversee a group of roughly 20 civilian volunteers who are determined to find out what the secretive military drills are all about, according to local news agency Chron.tv.
Operation Jade Helm caught the attention of the public as far back as March, when the military announced a series of training operations that included a map designating Texas as “hostile” territory.
Since then, the military has been quiet about the details of its operation and many residents have expressed skepticism about the purpose of the drills.
Johnson and his team of volunteers plan on working around the clock to keep tabs on the Special Forces when they land in Texas on July 15.
“We’re going to be watching what they do in the public,” he said. “Obviously on a military base they can do whatever they want, but if they’re going to train on public land, we have a right as American citizens to watch what they’re doing.”
Their plan seems to echo that of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who gave the Texas State Guard orders in April to “monitor” the federal troops involved in Jade Helm. While State Guard troops will not work directly with the volunteers, Abbott said they were necessary to ensure the federal government did not infringe on local citizens’ rights.
The military seems to be learning that when you label Texas hostile territory and send a bunch of troops to the state, Texans won’t just sit back and take it.
Maybe that’s what the military meant by “hostile.”