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Rep. Morgan Luttrell on Border Crisis: Fentanyl Is “Killing Our Service Members”

October 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) authored an op-ed for Stars and Stripes on how the ongoing, unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border has allowed fentanyl to flood into our country—even impacting U.S. service members and the health of the American military. 

From the op-ed:

“And make no mistake, we found the rise in fentanyl deaths is a direct result of the current administration’s open borders policies, and our service members are paying the price. In 2021, fentanyl was the leading cause of overdose deaths among active-duty service members. According to the Department of Defense, 127 soldiers died of fentanyl poisoning between 2015 and 2022.

“Unfortunately, we also lost 27 soldiers in 2021, a record number, to fentanyl. Fentanyl was responsible for more than half of all the Army’s overdose deaths from 2017 to 2021. In the Navy, where I served for 14 years, young sailors are also losing their lives to this lethal substance. In 2020 alone, the Navy, launched five investigations into fentanyl-related deaths at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. Since then, we have no information from the Navy regarding how many more have lost their lives in the past three years, despite the media’s effort to obtain answers from the department. This synthetic drug is killing our service members. We must stop its flow into our military installations.

“China’s malign influence has not only been responsible for pervasive military intellectual property theft and gross abuse of human rights, but also the fentanyl epidemic. The Chinese Communist Party manufactures the majority of the precursor chemicals needed to create fentanyl and then exports them to Latin America. The cartels create the fentanyl and either force others to carry the drug into the United States on their behalf or create diversions at the border to sneak it across themselves. We know that over 50% of all fentanyl coming into the country is coming through Arizona’s border. The Biden administration’s refusal to secure our borders has resulted in American lives being lost. Our adversaries are attempting to undermine and weaken us, whether it’s our border security, our public health, or our military strength. We must secure our borders, hold the CCP accountable, and reinforce our military dominance on the world stage.”

Read the full op-ed here.