CBP Laredo Honors Veterans with Special Program
Laredo, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Diversity and Inclusion Program Committee (DIPC) honored Veterans at a special program held at the National Guard Armory in Laredo, Texas.
On November 7, 2019, CBP honored Veterans with a special program that began with a solemn ceremony with the posting of the colors and a bugler playing the National Anthem. National Guard 1st Lieutenant Adrian Torres delivered the proclamation from President Donald J. Trump that declared November 11, 2019, Veterans Day. The event consisted of several keynote speakers that spoke on their military experience.
One keynote speaker noted, “Military service is a bridge that bypasses nearly all differences and generations. Being a veteran makes you special,” said Border Patrol Agent (BPA) Jonathon Thorton, “Even if you don’t believe you are special, remember that you’re probably another Veteran’s lifeline, a child’s hero, or someone that a sibling aspires to be.” CBP Officer Jose M. Fernandez told the audience, “ Let today not be wasted. Let it be known that freedom is not free. Someone you counted on risked their life so we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today I stand with all Americans to say I am proud to be an American.”
CBP has some talented Veterans in Laredo with Border Patrol Agent Scott Mielock and his wife Melinda performing a dance to the 1940’s popular song, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and National Guard Sergeant Artra Darnell singing an emotional rendition of “America the Beautiful and God Bless America.” The ceremony concluded with Patrol Agent in Charge Clara R. Torres speaking about what her father’s military career meant to her and how it inspired her family to continue his legacy.
Overall, 30 percent of CBP’s workforce is comprised of veterans and due to concentrated recruiting efforts, that percentage is expected to increase.
The CBP Privacy and Diversity Office provides Equal Employment Opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and civil rights/civil liberties services to almost 60,000 CBP employees and to the hundreds of millions of travelers and members of the trade and traveling community that CBP interacts with in the performance of our homeland security mission. Diversity and Inclusion Program Committee (DIPC) is a CBP integrated group comprised of Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations and Office of Chief Counsel personnel.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.