Border Patrol Honors 124 Agents During Peace Officers Memorial Day Services

at the funerl service for Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas in El Centro, Friday, July 31, 2009. Rosas was shot and killed while tracking suspected illegal immigrants or drug smugglers in a remote part of San Diego County. (AP Photo/Philip Scott Andrews)
AP File Photo/Philip Scott Andrews

Border Patrol Agents paused to honor their 124 fallen — three of those lost in 2016 alone. The men were honored Monday during Peace Officers Memorial Day services on the first day of National Police Week.

Acting Chief Carla Provost tweeted “We honor the 124 #USBP agents that have fallen in the line of duty. Your Ultimate Sacrifice is #NeverForgotten #HonorFirst #PoliceWeek.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) representatives laid a wreath at “a secluded memorial honoring the Immigration & Naturalization Service officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.”

The memorial is located at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. The Memorial honors 33 fallen immigration officers who gave their lives from 1919-1940.

Last year, CBP lost three border patrol agents in the line of duty – Agents Manuel A. Alvarez, Jose Barraza, and David Gomez.

Agent Manuel Alvarez was killed on August 11, 2016, near Casa Grande, Arizona when he was involved in a motorcycle crash. The 37-year-old father of four died at the scene. The 13-year veteran was a member of Class 557 and entered duty on July 13, 2003. Besides his children, he is survived by a wife, his parents, and two sisters. Alvarez worked from the Casa Grande Station where agents patrol 44.2 miles of the border on the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Eloy and Phoenix metropolitan areas, the Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix Metro bus stations, and they also respond to four other cities.

On November 15, 2016, a 20-year veteran of the agency, Agent David Gomez, suffered a heart attack while on bicycle patrol duty near El Paso, Texas. Agent Gomez was assigned to the El Paso Station of the El Paso Sector. The El Paso Sector covers El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and the entire state of New Mexico. He graduated from the Border Patrol Academy Class of 299 on February 12, 1996. He is survived by a wife, his three children, and his parents.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jose Barraza was coming home on April 18, 2016, about 7:30 a.m. after working when he died after colliding with a semi-truck. The accident occurred in Fort Hancock, and the cause of the crash is unknown. He was wearing a seatbelt and driving a truck. Agent Barraza was a K-9 handler who was assigned to the Big Bend Sector in Marfa, Texas. The sector is also known as the “Marfa Sector.”

Agent Javier Vega, Jr., whose end of watch (EOW) was August 3, 2014, was also in the hearts and memories of those honoring officers. As reported by Breitbart Texas, Vega was murdered by two previously deported illegal aliens during an attempted robbery. Vega and his family were fishing at the time, and the Border Patrol initially refused to classify his death as a Line of Duty Death (LODD). The designation allows an officer’s family to receive benefits afforded to an agent killed in the line of duty. Officials with the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) started a petition drive, and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX), and U.S. Representative Filemon Vela (D-TX) declared their support for the designation. Two years after his death, Vega’s murder was reclassified as an LODD.

In December 2010, Mexican bandits killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in a gun battle near the Arizona border south of Tucson. Agent Terry’s family is still looking for justice relating to Obama Administration officials handling of the Fast and Furious gunrunning program that put two of the guns in the hands of the Mexican rip crew that killed the agent.

Kelly Terry-Willis weeps on the flag draping her brother’s casket. (Photo: Facebook/Kelly Terry-Willis)

A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night to honor all law enforcement officers who work to keep our nation safe. CBP agents and other law enforcement officers in attendance honored and remembered CBP agents who died in the line of service.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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