Brian Terry Three Years Later - A Strong Family Waits for Answers
Three years ago, I first wrote about the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Three years later, Brian's family waits for answers as to what really happened that night in the Arizona desert. Over the past three years, much has been written about the circumstances surrounding his death and the Obama Administration scandal that rose from two of the weapons found at the scene of Brian's murder - the scandal now known as Fast & Furious.
During this period, I have had the opportunity to get to know some of Brian's family. We have discussed many of the issues and roadblocks related to Fast & Furious and how it has impacted their lives. In September, I traveled to Tucson to attend the Brian Terry Foundation Benefit Dinner. I went out a couple days early to spend time with the Terry family and some of Brian's closest friends and to learn about who Brian Terry was as a man, a son, a brother, and as a friend.
Brian Terry's brother, Kent Terry and his best friend, Geoffry Howard
To say that Brian Terry was an extraordinary human being would be a gross over-simplification of the exceptionalism that Brian exuded in all aspects of his life. One of his best friends, Geoffrey Howard, described Brian as "intense". Geoff and Brian attended police academy together but came from very different backgrounds. Brian had previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps and brought that Marine discipline and dedication to his police training. Geoff relayed many stories about Brian's intensity towards training and his strong demand for excellence from all he worked with.
Following is an interview with Brian's brother, Kent Terry. The pride and love Kent has for his brother are evident as Kent tells some stories relayed from other Border Patrol agents about his brother. One story in particular explains the photo above of Brian carrying another U.S. Border Patrol Agent on his back during training.
KENT TERRY INTERVIEW:
Brian Terry's family is looking for answers and the government seems to be slamming them at every opportunity. Recently the family was ruled against in a lawsuit seeking compensation for Terry's civil rights being violated in his death. The family is now in the process of appealing this ruling which seems to mis-apply workman's comp laws to this suit. On the other end of the spectrum, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder continues to obstruct Congress' investigation by standing behind an "executive privilege" claim by President Obama. Holder was held in Contempt of Congress. That charge is pending in a Washington, D.C. court that has been dragging its feet in ruling.
Breitbart's Matthew Boyle reported this weekend about Congressman Darrell Issa's (R-CA) comments on the anniversary of Brian's death yesterday. Issa has played a key role in uncovering the information the family does know at this point. “I think the message that the entire family needs to hear because they’ve seen so many setbacks over the past three years is that we won’t give up, that we continue to support them and we continue supporting whistleblowers like John Dodson because we’re going to get to the truth no matter how long it takes,” Issa said. “We’re in court, as you know, and it’s a slow process, but we’re going to be tenacious there. One thing that the Terry family should know is that the full truth and the corrections that will prevent this from ever happening again is our highest priority.”
In a recent letter to Congressman Issa, Kent Terry expressed his family's concerns about the lack of answers. "My family has suffered enough slaps in the face. We just want justice and accountability so we can begin to heal," Kent explained.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke with the Terry family a few days before this weekend's anniversary of Brian's death to express his support and dedication to obtaining the answers Terry's family seeks. Today, Cornyn told TexasGOPVote, “Three years have passed since one of our own was killed with weapons obtained from the botched federal gun-walking program, Fast and Furious. And for three years, the family of Agent Brian Terry has been waiting for answers from Attorney General Eric Holder and other top officials at the Department of Justice.”
Sen. Cornyn continued, “After tens of thousands of files have been covered up, and several ATF employees have been re-assigned rather than fired, the only thing that is clear today is that Eric Holder and the Obama Administration have something to hide. My colleagues and I will continue to push for answers and hold the Administration accountable. The families of fallen Agent Brian Terry, fallen ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata, and other victims of DOJ gun-walking deserve nothing less.”
Seeking to make certain that Brian Terry's name and memories do not fade into history, the family has formed The Brian Terry Foundation to keep interest in this tragedy alive and to raise money for the families of other Border Patrol Agents who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.
Following is an interview I conducted with Brian's uncle, Ralph Terry who serves as president of the foundation. Ralph Terry talks about the foundation and his nephew.
RALPH TERRY INTERVIEW - Brian Terry Foundation:
Unfortunately, Brian Terry's family is not alone. Less than two months after Brian was murdered, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata was murdered in an ambush in Mexico. Questions still exist as to whether guns used in his murder were connected to the Fast & Furious scandal.
Terry's family has continuously asked for answers, not just in Brian's murder but also in the deaths of those American heroes who died in Benghazi where the government has again been actively involved in covering up and hiding answers from the families of those who died.
My experience from getting to know the Terry family during the weekend of the Foundation dinner in September was a life changing event. I was very humbled by the opportunity to get to know them as a family and see how they have moved forward with their lives while keeping Brian's memories alive. All of his family welcomed me like a member of their own. They are justifiably angry and hurt, but they have amazingly stayed away from any bitterness.
They have, rather, stayed close to Brian's memories and Brian's friends. They have taken the exceptional parts of Brian's life and set them as standards to be modeled.
After learning about Brian as a person, the question popped into my mind, "Why do things like this seem to happen to truly exceptional people?" The answer immediately came to me - It is the exceptional person, like Brian Terry, who puts it all on the line and is willing to risk everything in service to our county.
We must continue to keep Brian Terry alive in our thoughts and hold his family up in prayer. They deserve answers, but they also deserve our devotion and support. Brian Terry is an American hero. But, Kent, Kelly, Michelle (Brian's brother and sisters) and his mother, Josephine are as well.
Late next summer, Brian's family and friends will gather again in Arizona to pay tribute to Brian and honor others who have been of service. The Brian Terry Courage Awards will be presented to those displaying the standards of excellence and courage that reflect Brian's commitment to life. A larger than life statue will be unveiled at the Brian Terry Border Patrol Station. I hope you will join me in contributing to the completion of this statue and supporting Brian Terry's Foundation.