Border Patrol officials, Congressional representatives, and other prominent officials joined together to recognize 60 Border Patrol agents and supporting staff during a promotion and awards ceremony in Laredo, Texas.
“The Special Recognition Ceremony recognized Border Patrol Agents who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to preserve life and assist others while securing the border and keeping our communities safe, who also provided unwavering support and assistance to CBP stakeholders by representing the agency with distinction, as well as Border Patrol Agents and Professional Staff who have achieved a significant milestone in their career with over 30 years of service,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. Other agents and staff members were recognized with promotions earned “as a result of their hard work and dedication to duty.”
“Each and every day, the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol go above and beyond to preserve and protect our community and to defend our nation’s borders,” U.S. Senator Ted Cruz told the attendees in a video message. “Your hard work and dedication is evident and you represent the U.S. Border Patrol with excellence.”
The senator also thanked the agents for their participation in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. “Texans stood united and have helped their fellow neighbors rebuild even stronger,” Cruz stated. “The Laredo Sector is no exception. I want to thank you for supporting Houstonians, my hometown, and the entire Gulf Coast as we rebuild.”
“Your swift action in our time of need resulted in the rescue of 1,300 of your fellow Texans, and 29 animals. We will always be grateful for your service,” the Texas senator concluded.
Cruz singled out Border Patrol Agents Anthony Anderson and Remigio Guerra III for their effort in rescuing four illegal immigrants from drowning in the Rio Grande River.
Agent Anderson risked his life when he jumped into the river and pulled the four endangered migrants to the riverbank. Agent Guerra assisted and pulled the drowning migrants to safety.
These brave agents received the Newton-Azrak Award. The award is named in honor of slain Border Patrol Inspectors Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George F. Azrak who were killed in the line of duty after they were ambushed, overtaken, kidnapped and executed by drug smugglers, officials stated.
Senator Cruz’ staff member presented the two agents with a U.S. flag that had been flown over the Capitol in Washington, DC.
Officials also recognized Border Patrol Agent Keith Platt from the Hebbronville Station with the agency’s highest honor — the Purple Cross Award. During an attempt to arrest five illegal aliens on a ranch in the Laredo Sector, Agent Platt sustained permanent injuries when one of the illegal aliens assaulted him.
A federal judge in Laredo later sentenced the illegal alien to 86 months in federal prison for the assault. The sentence is the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines.
Other agents and support staff received promotions in rank and recognition for up to 30 years of federal service.
“Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens presented the honorees with badges, certificates, and prestigious awards, officials wrote. “Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Consul General de Mexico Carolina Zaragoza-Flores, representatives from Senator Ted Cruz’ and Congressman Henry Cuellar’s Office, City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, Laredo Community College President Dr. Ricardo Solis, leadership from the Office of Field Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Laredo Police Department.”
The Laredo Sector Border Patrol Honor Guard and the CBP Pipes and Drum Unit provided special honors to the recipients of awards and promotions.