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Sheriff: 188 years later, Goliad still at center of defending Texas

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(The Center Square) – The small town of Goliad, Texas, remains at the center of defending the state 188 years after one of the greatest losses of the Texas Revolution occurred there.

On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Col. James Fannin and 342 of his men were massacred by Mexican soldiers one week after they had surrendered at the Battle of Coleto Creek and three weeks after the Alamo fell.

Despite this, Texans kept fighting and won independence on April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto. They won with the aid of men who came to fight for freedom from what are now 28 states and 12 countries.

Today, National Guard soldiers and state law enforcement and other personnel are coming from 25 states to Texas’ aid, participating in Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star. Gov. launched OLS three years ago on March 6, the day the Alamo fell.

So far, 55 Texas counties have declared an invasion and 60 Texas counties have issued disaster declarations, with Goliad County among the first. More than 100 sheriffs have expressed support for OLS statewide, but one sheriff remains at the forefront leading an OLS Task Force: Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd.

Seven generations before him, one of Boyd’s ancestors was killed at the Alamo and five were killed at the Battle of Coleto Creek, including a 14-year-old boy.

“Here we are 188 years and seven generations later, and the struggle for the safety and security of Texas continues,” Boyd told The Center Square. “Unlike the Texas War of Independence in 1836, today we fight a two-front battle against a foreign invasion from cartels, their human cargo, and their operatives, along with a federal government determined to dismantle the American dream and the freedom it brings.

“The battleground is the same, but the struggle is different. In this modern version of good versus evil there will be no decisive victory like our forefathers had at San Jacinto. Instead, it is a long and relentless grind to see whether we will keep the Texas we know and love, or if it will be handed over to lawlessness and become just another addition to the long list of once great places now left behind in the ruins of defeat.”

Boyd is fighting to “keep the Texas we know and love.” He was first elected sheriff in November 2020 after a 20-plus year career in law enforcement and is running for reelection unopposed this year. Fighting alongside him are men and women in roughly 30 agencies in dozens of counties participating in the OLS Task Force, which has expanded. The goal is to shut down cartel criminal networks in task force counties and across Texas, he said.

At a recent OLS Task Force meeting in Goliad, Boyd told The Center Square, “The effectiveness of the Operation Lone Star Task Force is measured not only in arrests and cases made, but in the fact that smuggling organizations have altered their routes to avoid participating jurisdictions.”

Texas Border Czar Mike Banks says the results of their efforts are “phenomenal.” The OLS Task Force “has really laid out a best practice for how OLS funds should be used,” referring to grant money allocated by the Texas Legislature. While the bulk of state border security funds go to the Texas Military Department and Texas Department of Public Safety, a small portion goes to local law enforcement.

Abbott, who supports the task force, “has asked us, as law enforcement, to step up and fight transnational criminal activity,” Boyd told The Center Square. “It is not an easy task, but we owe it to the people we serve to do everything within our power to protect them from this criminal activity.”

Texas has borne the brunt of cartel crime and weaponized migration with the greatest number of illegal border crossers entering the state of more than 1.9 million in fiscal 2023, The Center Square reported. Texas continues to sue over Biden administration policies and to defend what Abbott argues is Texas’ right to self-defense and state sovereignty.

On the 188-year-anniversary of the Fannin massacre, Boyd told The Center Square, “Long drawn-out wars are hard to sustain. Especially when most people are not aware of the consequences of defeat. Those of us in the trenches witness the reality every day. It can be difficult to persevere when you are on the front lines day in and day out, but we will continue to do all we can to safeguard Texas from the consequences of failing to be victorious. Just as our ancestors did almost 200 years ago.”

Two months after the Texas Revolution was won on April 21, 1836, General Thomas Jefferson Rusk arrived at Presidio la Bahía in Goliad. To his horror, he discovered the burned remains of Col. James Fannin and his men who were massacred in cold blood on Palm Sunday, March 27,… pic.twitter.com/wmQibHpval— Bethany Blankley (@BethanyBlankley) March 27, 2024

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