Since Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott deployed thousands of personnel to the US-Mexico border, the operation has been slammed as overtly political and a waste of resources by Democratic lawmakers and even some of the National Guard members participating in the mission.
Last March, Abbott, who's up for reelection, launched "Operation Lone Star," citing a crisis at the US southern border. The operation — which leaned on resources from Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard — has swelled to more than 10,000 service members.
The speed at which the operation launched and its scope has fueled frustrations internally and among veterans of the Guard. Multiple members of the Guard who are deployed as part of Operation Lone Star and spoke to CNN described long hours with little to do, poor planning, and a lack of mission — all of which, they say, are contributing to low morale among soldiers.
"As military, people know the term hurry up and wait. This is just the biggest hurry up and wait I was a part of, and there's really no set, 'hey, we're doing this, or hey, go out and do this.' It's just, we're sitting around doing nothing," one soldier said.