TUCSON, Ariz. – “Valor in the Desert”, an event honoring Border Patrol agents who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation, was held at Tucson Sector Headquarters on Wednesday.
Agents, families of fallen agents and multiple guests participated in the private ceremony that included keynote speaker Chief Benjamine Carry Huffman from the Strategic Planning and Analysis Directorate in Washington D.C.
Chief Huffman stressed the importance of the Border Patrol’s role in supporting the family of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. “Their losses, like our own,” he said, “are painful reminders of how difficult and dangerous law enforcement can be.”
Tucson Sector’s Honor Guard Drill Team presented military-style honors for the ceremony and Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Julie Gallagher, sister of fallen Agent Michael V. Gallagher, served as guest speaker.
Tucson Sector’s observance followed a larger ceremony held May 22 at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza in Washington, D.C., honoring all fallen officers and agents within U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly expressed his gratitude for the fallen agents and officers, saying, "CBP is one of the Department's largest and most complex components. The mission is often dangerous—too often it's thankless. But their work has never been more important than it is today. The men and women of CBP are America's frontline. They protect our freedom and security and they defend it, if need be, with their lives."
This year, four U.S. Border Patrol agents' names were added to the CBP Valor Memorial, a monument that lists the names of all men and women of CBP and its legacy agencies who gave their lives while serving their country. Among the four agents honored was Agent Manuel A. Alvarez, 37, killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol near Casa Grande, Arizona, on Aug. 11, 2016.
Since the Border Patrol’s inception on May 28, 1924, 125 brave agents have made the ultimate sacrifice.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.