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Everyday Heroism

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Earlier this month, near Sierra Vista, AZ, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, Robert F. Hughes, was getting ready for work when a young boy knocked on his door and said his mother was outside performing CPR on a woman who had collapsed while walking her dog. Agent Hughes, assisted by his daughter – who is a trained emergency medical technician – took over performing CPR on the woman until Sierra Vista police and emergency responders arrived. The 77-year-old woman, who had suffered a heart attack, was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition – thanks to Agent Hughes.

Just last week, heroism played out once again on Washington, DC’s Metrorail subway. An off-duty Border Patrol Agent witnessed a dispute between two passengers in the car adjacent to hers. When the train stopped, one passenger ran into the agent’s car, chased by the other passenger who was wielding a knife and who seemed to be in an altered mental state. Assisted by an off-duty US Marshal, the agent drew her service-issued firearm and helped to detain the man until Metro Transit Police arrived on the scene and arrested him.

A life in Arizona – saved.
Commuters in our Nation’s capital – protected.

Our agents and officers are so much more than badges and uniforms. They are your neighbors – integral to the local communities in which they live and serve. The two agents I’ve just described were not even on duty – but their training and their sworn commitment to save and protect the public – off-duty as well as on-duty – prompted decisive actions. 

Law enforcement is under tremendous scrutiny nationwide. It’s a tough job. As part of their routine duties, CBP agents and officers interact with more than a million people every day. But we must not forget the non-routine interactions: the rescues in the desert, in the mountains, and on the water; the aid rendered to stranded motorists, the acts of heroism that are remarkable to everyone except those humble and dedicated men and women who perform them.

Last modified: 
March 14, 2017