Our most solemn duty in law enforcement, by far, is mourning the loss of one of our own in the line of duty. When we pause to remember and respect, we draw strength to follow their example of service.
Each year during National Police Week, Americans salute fallen members of law enforcement. The central event for CBP during Police Week is our Valor Memorial and Wreath-Laying ceremony. Yesterday, we gathered with the families of our fallen to honor four Border Patrol agents whose names are now etched into CBP’s Valor Memorial.
- Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega, Jr., was killed on August 3, 2014 near Santa Monica, Texas. Agent Vega – known as “Harvey” to his family and close friends – was enjoying a fishing trip with his family. He was fatally shot when he tried to draw his weapon in an attempt to prevent a robbery. His father was also seriously wounded in the attack.
- Border Patrol Agent José D. Barraza – known as Joey – died on April 18, 2016, in a two-vehicle accident in El Paso, Texas.
- Border Patrol Agent Manuel A. Alvarez – known as Manny – died in a motorcycle accident on August 11, 2016, while on patrol near Casa Grande, Arizona.
- Border Patrol Agent David Gomez suffered a heart attack on November 15, 2016, while on bicycle patrol duty in rugged terrain near El Paso, Texas. He died the following day at a local hospital.
The men and women who swear an oath to protect our homeland are passionate about what they do. They put on their uniforms every day and kiss their families goodbye, not knowing what the next shift will bring. They willingly go towards danger, trying to right a wrong, and protecting others. On behalf of CBP, I thank them for their selfless resolve and unwavering dedication, and I want to convey our deepest condolences to the families of all of the fallen. As we pause to reflect on the service of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, may we continue to honor their legacy with our own service to country.