Home » Gate Guarding » Warning from a Fellow Gate Guard

Warning from a Fellow Gate Guard

Instead of continuing with the Joe series, I’m posting a portion of an email I received yesterday from a fellow gate guard (with his permission).

I’d like to add a few comments first.

1. I really love this job. My experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I try to see the events around me with as much humor as I can, even in Texas in July. Because I post quite often and because many of my posts are light-hearted, I want to offer some balance for those of you who are considering gate guarding or who just wonder what it’s like.

2. Having spent almost all of my life in the Midwest, I’ve been both uninformed and naïve about border issues.

3. This is one person’s irrefutable experience, so please honor his perspective by not using this as a format for political discourse.

4. I want to reiterate that I don’t mean, in any way, to be disparaging or indifferent to people’s struggles.

On illegal’s,  we have had 6 of them picked up from this gate. We had one water Hauler while closing a gate up at the Frac Pond had one get in his truck and try to run off with it.( Lucky he did not know how to drive a tractor and trailer). On another occasion some of them stole a ranchers car, the Ranger shot out the windows while they were trying to get away then the Border Patrol and Sheriff got them stopped about a mile below our gate. And not to scare anyone, we also had a Welder killed about 5 miles from here they cut his head off and took his truck and all his personnel belongings. So I do not think it is a good Idea to give them food or water and to have the Border Patrol Number and Sherriff’s Number close at hand. Above all if you see them in time get inside and lock the door.

I had already heard about this and several other lethal incidents over the course of the past 3 or 4 days from two professionals (non-gate guards) that work in the field. It’s a great job and I don’t want to discourage anyone from doing it, but I do want you to know what the reality is.

In 7 months, there have been over 20,000 hits here at Fork. While that’s miniscule by blogging standards (some have more than that in a week, some have more every day) I know many of you who read are, or hope to be full-timers, and are interested in working as gate guards. Gate guards are quick to help each other out. The more we know, the more we can take precautions.

To my gate guard friends, thank you for sharing your stories and be safe.

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13 thoughts on “Warning from a Fellow Gate Guard

  1. I’m finding information about actually guarding the gate, but almost no listings of companies you can potentially work for. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Janet – If you’ll look in the upper right hand corner of the page you should see a link called Gate Guard Info. I’ve listed all the companies that I’m aware of and their contact numbers. Hope this helps!
      ~ Debbie

  2. Talked myself into checking out your blog and wow! Had to stop reading it awhile back or else I’d have packed my bags and headed to south Texas. I’m a FedEx courier, and I’ve worked in Eagle Pass, TX and Columbus, NM and other places. I’ve seen groups of illegals hiding in the brush while waiting for a ride. And I’ve dealt with Border Patrol who believed I might be smuggling illegals in my truck. Hadn’t considered the illegal alien aspect of gate guarding but it makes sense that more might be coming your way. The border fence in California has been a great success. Much of the rest of the border has natural barriers until you get to south Texas. Stands to reason you’d see more traffic there. On the other hand the papers have been reporting that between our poor economy and Mexico’s improving one there are considerably less illegals coming over. That’s the decent ones looking for work. The criminals will probably keep coming. I think a couple of big dogs would be a good idea.

    • Well, Wade, I hope you didn’t have to talk too hard. 🙂 Sounds like you’re already a seasoned pro when it comes to much of what we deal with as gate guards! Here in Gonzales county, we’re a long way from the border so we haven’t experienced any of the encounters our friends to the south have. Henry is a wonderful dog, but I’m pretty sure an 18 pound Schnoodle who never barks or growls wouldn’t be very intimidating. I truly love the job, but, as I keep saying, I feel a responsibility to paint a broader picture than what I might have with my limited view from Smiley! Thanks for reading and commenting and stay safe as you travel!

  3. I don’t want to be a gate guard, I just love reading your posts about it. (I got started when I found a blog post you did about grief.) I do understand the in the middle of NO WHERE aspect, because I am on medical leave from a missionary journey. I had walked from Norman, Oklahoma to Panama City Beach, Florida carrying a wooden cross. I spent most of those 881 miles in the middle of who knows where, making friends with all the local critters that wanted to investigate my tent (and my boots the one time I left them outside because I couldn’t deal with the smell!).

    I’m having a rough patch right now, but I look forward to your blog posts. They make me smile.

    Morgan

    • Morgan, I can’t even begin to fathom your pilgrimage! Here I am thinking it’s rough when the temp hits 105! I’ve thought of you and prayed for you so often ever since you commented on the grief post. I’ll try to get a little more humor back here at Fork now that I’m finishing up the GG series.
      Take care,
      Debbie

      • It’s all good! I’m looking forward to resuming the walk. It will be a few months, though. I have surgery Friday, with the usual 6 week post op period. And then I still have some grief work to do. (I really miss my Mom with this surgery coming up.) But hey, at least I’ll probably be wintering in Florida! (In a tent, on the side of the highway, with a big wooden cross nearby!)

      • Morgan – you really should blog about all this, or least write a book! Do you journal at all? ‘ll be praying for your surgery and your healing. I grieved the loss of my Mom for years. It was 3 years before I could talk about her without crying. I’m sure you miss yours all the more with surgery ahead. I don’t believe that time heals pain, but it does alter it.Thanks so much for keeping in touch.

  4. The entire time we guarded we never saw even one illegal…and we started in Crystal City..not too far from the border. We did see several Border Patrol vehicles though. A few of them would actually come up to the gate and ask us if we’d seen anyone illegal.

    Probably not a popular thing to say, but I highly recommend anyone near the border have some sort of protection onboard their RV. Doesn’t have to be a gun, but something is better than nothing. We did read about a gate guard being shot by an illegal in the Crystal City area while we were there. Not sure who they worked for though.

    To me that and the dust is about the only negatives to gate guarding. The positives are likely seen as negatives by some, but to me they are the solitude, having time to pray, read, etc. The absolute largest positive is not having to bury my type A personality while dealing with the general public in a customer service setting…lol!

    • John, just a day or two before I received this email, one of the ‘higher ups’ in the oil industry came through and told me a gate guard and a welder had been killed that week. He said things have gotten so much worse down by the border. I don’t want to be an alarmist but I wanted to offer a balanced picture. Like you, some of my pros, I’m sure will be cons. I love the quiet times to read and meditate and pray and write. Unlike you, I’m not a type A so this pace suites me just fine! 😀

  5. Thanks Debbie for the post and the fellow gate guard who shared this information. We can never have too much truthful information. It needs to be told as usually we are placed quite a distance from the rig and help is not readily available. Even placing a phone call – it would take a while for help to arrive. As you said yesterday, some placements are remote. We love the job also but the facts need to be out there so people can make the right decision for themselves. Thanks again.

    • Jill – thanks for being so supportive. I don’t expect this to be a popular post. We have had a remarkably positive experience. It’s fine for me to share that here because it’s my blog, But there are other stories out there that folks don’t have any way to hear,
      Even here, where I feel pretty safe, it’s not a ‘cake walk’. 😉 I think it takes a certain temperament to like it and thrive, not just survive.
      I know gate guards all over the state who seem to really love their job. And I also know quite a few who really don’t like it at all, but are locked in because they bought their RV with this in mind and need the money to make it. I’m hoping everyone will keep writing to fill out the picture for those who are still thinking about it.

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