March 27 - April 2
Enjoy This Week in USBP History! Make sure explore all of the hyperlinks to documents and pages.
Also, please forward this blog to whomever you think may enjoy it.
Have a great week!
Esprit de Corps
The workplace climate resulting from a combination of organizational pride and employee morale.
The definition turns Esprit de Corps into a simple formula and defines parts that comprise organizational pride and employee morale.
Esprit de Corps = Organizational Pride + Employee Morale
Esprit de Corps is the key to a healthy organization and engaged employees.
Honor First is foundational to the Border Patrol's organizational pride and integral to its Esprit de Corps.
Newton-Azrak Award Actions
(Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First)
Robert S. Herrera
Border Patrol Agent
On March 29, 1994, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Border Patrol Agent Robert S. Herrera responded to an intrusion device that had indicated activity near the Sanchez Canal, west of San Luis, Arizona. Upon Arrival, Agent Herrera observed a subject who appeared to be a male juvenile swimming to the east bank of the canal. While watching the subject swim to the other side, BPA Herrera’s attention was caught by a disturbance in the water just to the south of where the first subject was swimming.
Looking to the south, Agent Herrera saw a person’s head break the surface of the water and then go back under. Continuing to watch, Agent Herrera saw the person pop up again, flail the water, and gasp for air before disappearing beneath the surface again.
By the time the individual went under for the third time, Agent Herrera was on the bank of the canal, dropping his leather as he jumped into the water. In the middle of the canal, Agent Herrera was able to grab and eight-year-old child and bring him safely back to shore where BPA Matthew Sutton pulled him up onto dry land.
Robert Herrera’s actions on the morning of March 29, 1994, were above and beyond what is normally expected of an agent. He imperiled his own safety by leaping into a polluted canal to save the life of a child.
William T. Veal
Chief Patrol Agent
San Diego Sector
On the night of April 1, 1999, eastern San Diego County experienced very low temperatures and unexpected snow during a fierce overnight storm, which left many illegal entrant aliens stranded and lost in the rugged mountainous terrain of the area. Many of these people were in great peril of imminent death and at least seven others had already succumbed.
After ensuring that Sector resources were mobilized to cope with this emergency, Chief Patrol Agent William T. Veal, in the early morning hours of April 2, responded by flying into service the Border Patrol’s heavy lift UH-1 helicopter. Joined by the Patrol Agent in Charge of Air Operations, John D. Pool and Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Harold R. Beasley, he flew into very hazardous weather conditions to effect the rescue of stranded and hypothermic aliens. During this time, Chief Veal rescued eight aliens who were hypothermic and in imminent danger of death. The attending physician stated to rescue personnel that one of these individuals would have died had he not received medical attention within the hour. Additionally, by flying through treacherous terrain in deteriorating weather conditions, while fighting low ceilings, clouds, and fog, Chief Veal inserted Border Patrol and San Diego County Search and Rescue teams into accessible areas to search for stranded aliens. This included making landings in the same rugged terrain, at times with only one tip of a skid touching the ground.
With no regard for his personal safety, Chief Veal continued search and rescue activities until he was assured that no additional aliens were in peril. He flew a total of 6.9 hours with the only breaks being three brief refueling stops.
Senior Patrol Agent
El Centro Sector
On April 2, 2001, Senior Patrol Agent Benjamin Sanford was patrolling a stretch of the All American Canal, near Calexico, California, monitoring the border fence for people attempting to enter the country illegally from Mexico. A concerned citizen frantically approached him to report that a car had just plummeted into the canal. Agent Sanford immediately called his colleagues at the Calexico Station for assistance, and then drove to the crash site. When he arrived at the scene, he saw a partially submerged car and a woman flailing in a fight against the swift currents. Realizing he could not wait for help to arrive, and giving little regard to his own well-being, he dove into the water, swam to the woman, and dragged her to shore. His heroic actions saved her from certain death.
As of December 8, 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 151* fallen.
The names that appear below hold a place of honor. They have made the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to fulfill the oath each officer took to protect and defend the United States of America.
The facts regarding each officer are presented without major editing of the "language of the day" found in the reports detailing the circumstances of each event. This is done to provide the reader an association with historical timeframes.
Employees who died in the line of duty due to being exposed to deadly illnesses will not have the cause of death listed.
*With the exception of two of the fallen immediately below, all names are listed (or in the process of being included) on the official Honor Roll of U.S. Border Patrol fallen and inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The U.S. Border Patrol should fix these discrepancies. HonorFirst.com honors both of the fallen.
Lee L. Bounds
Date of Birth: November 24, 1936
Entered on Duty: June 22, 1970
Title: Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 29, 1974
Border Patrol Agent Lee L. Bounds of the Lordsburg Station, El Paso Sector, was killed in a jeep accident on March 29, 1974. He was traveling alone on a road between Animas and Rodeo, New Mexico, southwest of Lordsburg, and ran the jeep off the right shoulder of the road. He lost control when he attempted to steer the vehicle back onto the road and the jeep overturned. Bounds was thrown from the vehicle, which rolled over him before stopping in an upright position, Mr. Bounds’ head was crushed. The jeep, which was equipped with seat belts and roll bar, was damaged extensively.
Luis A. Santiago
Date of Birth: November 9, 1964
Entered on Duty: June 6, 1994
Title: Border Patrol Agent (Trainee)
End of Watch: March 28, 1995
At approximately 11:45 p.m., Agent Santiago was working in a canyon near Lower Otay Reservoir when he and other agents saw a group of about 20 illegal aliens. The agents identified themselves as Border Patrol and ordered the aliens to stop. The group scattered and the agents followed. Agent Santiago gave chase along the rim of the canyon, taking a narrow trail that leads to the edge of a cliff. He lost his footing on loose rock and slippery grass and fell approximately 120 feet to his death.
On June 6, 1994, Luis Santiago joined the U.S. Border Patrol as a BPA (Trainee) at the San Diego Sector/Brown Field Station in San Diego, California. After entering on duty, he was sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. On October 18, 1994, he graduated from the 267th Session and returned to San Diego. Agent Santiago was one week short of taking his ten-month examination.
Stephen M. Sullivan
Date of Birth: July 6, 1971
Entered on Duty: August 4, 1996
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 27, 1999
On Saturday, March 27, 1999, Border Patrol Agent Stephen M. Sullivan was transporting a group of aliens on the Otay Truck Trail when his vehicle overturned and rolled down an embankment. Three of the aliens, who had been thrown from the vehicle, climbed up out of the embankment and approached another Border Patrol Agent, stating that others were still inside the vehicle and had been injured. Four people, including Agent Sullivan, were killed in the accident.
Agent Sullivan began his career with the INS as an Adjudications Officer in Los Angeles. He was hired by the Border Patrol in September 1997. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the El Cajon Station of the San Diego Sector.
Jarod C. Dittman
Date of Birth: September 9, 1979
Entered on Duty: March 5, 2007
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 30, 2008
Border Patrol Agent Jarod C. Dittman was killed in a single-vehicle accident near Jamul, California in the early morning hours of March 30, 2008.
Agent Dittman was driving from the Brown Field Border Patrol Station to his assigned patrol area, when his service vehicle rolled over, ejecting Agent Dittman from the vehicle. Another Border Patrol agent drove up on the scene and immediately called for emergency assistance. Due to the heavy fog, an airlift helicopter could not respond. Agent Dittman was pronounced dead while enroute to the hospital.
Agent Dittman entered on duty with the U.S. Border Patrol on March 5, 2007, as a member of the 660th session of the Border Patrol Academy. He was assigned to the Brown Field Station immediately after graduation from the Academy. Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Agent Dittman served in the Pennsylvania National Guard.
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Blog author, retired U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief and, current U.S. Border Patrol employee advocate.
Site founder and owner, former Supervisory Border Patrol Agent and retired Immigration Special Agent.
U.S. Border Patrol historian and retired Deputy Chief Patrol Agent.
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