Family of Fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Testify Before Congress – Demand Justice

The House Oversight and Government Operations Committee held a hearing June 15, 2011 on the ATF “fast and furious” scheme that allowed guns to “walk” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.

(Immigration Clearing House)

Two of the ATF “walked” guns ended up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry south of Tucson.
The Tucson Citizen reported:

(This is the opening statement from Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family at the House Oversight and Government Reform hearings held June 15, 2011 on the ATF Fast and Furious scheme to allow weapons to “walk” into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.)

Good morning Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Cummings and other members of the committee. My name is Robert Heyer. I am the cousin of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry. I am joined on this panel today along with Brian’s mother, Josephine Terry; and sister, Michelle Terry Balogh. They have asked me to give this opening statement on behalf of the entire Terry Family.

It was just ten days before Christmas last year when our family received the devastating news; Brian had been shot and killed while engaged in a firefight with a group of individuals seeking to do harm to Americans citizens and others.

We knew that Brian faced imminent danger on a daily basis as part of his chosen career, but we also knew that he and his unit were highly trained and equipped with the best weapons this country could provide to their fighting men and women.

They were confident in overcoming any threat that they might face in the desolate section of desert that they patrolled. He and his team prided themselves as being the tip of the spear that defended this country and its borders.

The telephone call came in the middle of the night. I know that this type of horrible notification has been received many times during the last 10 years by the families of our military’s sons and daughters as the United States has fought wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

After all, Brian had taken an oath to defend this country from all terrorist threats.

What makes Brian’s death so shocking to his family is that he did not die on a foreign battlefield; he was killed while in the line of duty as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.

He died not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in the desert outside of Rio Rico, Arizona some 18 miles inside of the U.S. – Mexican border.

His killers were not Taliban insurgents or Al Qaeda fighters but a small group of Mexican drug cartel bandits heavily armed with AK-47 assault rifles. The rifles and the ammunition they carried were designed to do one thing and that was to kill…

…Brian was due to complete his shift of duty that night in the desert outside of Rio Pico at midnight on December 15 and then take some much deserved time off. He had already made his travel plans to fly back to Michigan and spend the Christmas holiday with his family. Brian’s attention to detail had insured that all the Christmas gifts he had meticulously selected for his family had already been bought and sent in the mail prior to his arrival. Brian did ultimately come home that Christmas; we buried him not far from the house that he was raised in just prior to Christmas day. The gifts that Brian had picked out with such thought and care began to arrive in the mail that same week. With each delivery, we felt the indescribable pain of Brian’s death, but at the same time also remembered his amazing love and spirit.

We hope that you now know a little bit more about our Brian. We ask that you honor his memory by continuing to ensure what he worked so hard to do and ultimately gave his life doing; that is to keep this country safe and its borders secure. We hope that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is forthcoming with all information that the panel is seeking. We ask that if a government official made a wrong decision that they admit their error and take responsibility for his or her actions. We hope that all individuals involved in Brian’s murder and those that played a role in putting the assault weapons in their hands are found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Finally, it is our hope that no more law enforcement officers die at the hands of these heavily armed Mexican drug cartel members operating on and inside the borders of the United States.

The Terry Family would also like to acknowledge and thank the Special Agents in the FBI’s Tucson Field Office and the prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Tucson Office that have worked so hard and continue to work in bringing Brian’s killers to justice.

The Marines have the motto of Semper Fidelis which most of you know is Latin for always faithful. The Border Patrol has the motto of Honor First. Brian lived a life of honor, duty and sacrifice which reflected both of these mottos and the two organizations he was so proud to serve in. It is now up to all of us to put honor first and to remain always faithful in the quest for justice. On behalf of the entire Terry Family, thank you.

I would like to point out that it is because of the tireless efforts of Senator Charles E. Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa that these hearings into Operation Fast and Furious have been made possible. I’m convinced that they will get to the truth despite the shameful efforts of the Obama administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, to stonewall every effort to get the facts of this disgraceful program.

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