(Tuesday, May 17, 2011)
Philadelphia - An alleged drunk driver prematurely ended the life of Border Patrol agent Michael V. Gallagher, a Lancaster, Pa., native, while he was on duty last year in Arizona. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection ensured that others will honor his legacy for quite some time after inscribing his name on the CBP Valor Memorial at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Friday.
CBP etched Gallagher’s name and the names of six others -- Border Patrol agents Nathaniel A. Afolayan, Trena R. McLaughlin, Mark F. Van Duren and Bryan A. Terry, and CBP officers Charles F. Collins II and John R. Zykas -- to the agency’s Valor Memorial during ceremonies recognizing National Police Week. They joined the names of 210 other CBP officers and agents who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The CBP Valor Memorial honors those CBP uniformed officers and agents who are killed in the line of duty or who pass away as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty. These individuals are united in death, as in life, by their sworn oath to defend the Constitution of the U.S. and to protect the nation against all enemies.
“Today – as always – we honor the courage and selfless sacrifice of the individuals whose names are etched on this valor memorial,” said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “May their legacy of distinguished service to our nation be forever remember and continue to inspire all of us charged with protecting our homeland.”
On September 2, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Gallagher was killed after being struck by an alleged drunk driver on Federal Route 19 on the Tohono O’Odham Reservation. This area is near Casa Grande, Arizona.
The collision caused agent Gallagher’s vehicle to overturn multiple times; due to the impact, his body was ejected from the vehicle. The driver was charged with involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and numerous other charges.
Agent Gallagher was a member of the 794th Session of the Border Patrol Academy assigned to the Casa Grande Border Patrol Station within the Tucson Sector. He is survived by his wife, two sons, mother, father, step-mother, step-father and two sisters.
Every day, without fanfare or special praise, CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, Marine Interdiction agents and agriculture specialists serve and protect our nation. These brave law-enforcement officers exemplify CBP’s core values of vigilance, service to country and integrity -- the very best of America.
The stories of the sacrifices made by these officers, agents and others in CBP’s history are located in the “In Memoriam” site. (In Memoriam )
Still photos of Customs and Border Protection's National Police Week activities, including the CBP Valor Memorial ceremony for the families of the fallen, are located on CBP's Flickr page. ( Flickr )
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.