A group organized by Border Patrol agents recently collected and distributed Christmas and holiday gifts for the children of fallen agents. This marks the organization’s fifth year of giving.
Border Patrol agents in the El Centro Sector began an organization that became knows as the Fallen Agents Fund shortly before Christmas 2014, Mike Matzke told Breitbart Texas in his role as president of the fund. Matzke also serves as president of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 2554.
“The project began in 2014 when agents working at the Calexico Border Patrol Station decided to put on a Christmas present drive in remembrance of fallen Border Patrol agents and to support their children,” Matzke told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. “We started with the names of 24 children of fallen agents in the local area. Since then, the number of children on the list has grown and we provided 400 gifts this year to more than 100 children in nine states.”
The Fallen Agents Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity that is also listed on the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #75034), puts up Christmas trees in various Border Patrol stations. The trees are decorated with name tags of children belonging to fallen agents.
“Agents take the tags and purchase gifts for that child and bring them back to the station,” Matzke explained. “Our group then collects the gifts and transports them to the Border Patrol station nearest the child’s home. Local agents who knew the fallen agent and their family deliver the gifts to the homes of the family or, in some cases, to sector chaplains.”
“I think the best part of the Fallen Agent Fund is that during the holidays when the children may be missing their parent,” Matzke continued. “We show them that their Border Patrol family has not forgotten them.”
Some families no longer live along the border, having moved to Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and Louisiana. In those cases, the group incurs the cost of shipping the presents to the families.
The group branches out from the El Centro Sector and delivers presents all the way to the Del Rio Sector in Texas. From there, Del Rio agents take over and deliver the gifts to the remaining Texas sectors. “We can’t say enough about the work the chaplain and peer support in Del Rio Sector,” Agent Matzke said. “David Garcia and Rohan Godson do a great job of delivering the presents all across Texas.”
After returning from Texas, the El Centro Sector agents move west to the San Diego Sector to complete their rounds.
Matzke said anyone interested in contributing to the fund may make a contribution through the fund’s website.
A list of fallen Border Patrol agents can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Memoriam to Those Who Died in the Line of Duty page.