On December 15, 2010, the United States Border Patrol would loose another dedicated agent in the line of duty. Brian Terry paid with his life to preserve our safety along the Nation’s border. His death rocked the world, stoking question after question surrounding his murder associated with controversy. The lives of his family would be forever altered. A son, a brother and a friend- gone. And the Border Patrol family had lost one of their own.
Holly Schadt remembers December 15, 2010 vividly. Having just given birth to her second child, she remembers preparing for Christmas with her family. Her husband, a teammate of Brian’s took time off to welcome his new son. “I remember the very moment my husband heard about Brian’s murder.” Holly said, “He froze, but only for a moment.”
Time stood still, to be followed by a flurry of non-stop phone calls. Her husband didn’t give it a second thought before jumping into his uniform, he gathered his gear and joined the team to search for Brian’s murderers. She kissed him goodbye while holding their 4-day old son in her arms and then he was gone for days. “I couldn’t stop crying,” she said, “Here I was holding my newborn while a mother in Michigan just lost her son.”
In the following months, our Border Patrol community worked on healing. While Brian’s murder had faded from the headlines, it was never far from Holly’s thoughts. She often talked about it with her girlfriends, fellow border patrol wives. While working out regularly, they talked about doing something to honor Brian’s memory. And so it was out of this singular loss that an ember would spark and eventually grow into a cause that would honor not just Brian, but all men who have perished in the line of duty serving Tucson Sector’s borders.
Holly, along with her friend, also a border patrol wife, Kelley Meshirer founded the Annual Tucson Sector Border Patrol Memorial 5K! During the planning of the first annual race, the Border Patrol would weather another painful loss with the death of Nick Ivie. In an incredible show of support, 652 racers attended the first race and nearly $30,000 was raised to assist Southern Arizona Border Patrol families in need. The race continues to attract hundreds of racers each year with additional spectators to cheer them on. In 6 years, they’ve seen over well 2,000 participants cross the finish line.
As they moved forward, Kelley’s background in non-profit management would play a key role in launching BP101Fund, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization devoted to remember, honor & celebrate Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents who have fallen in the line of duty, while raising funds to assist local border patrol families in need through financial assistance to the dependents of fallen agents as well as directing funds to a growing scholarship fund to benefit border patrol spouses.
BP101Fund has raised and upward of 200K. Of that, several thousand has been disbursed to families of fallen agents, $5,209 has been granted to The Brian Terry Foundation, $3,981 has been granted the Border Patrol Foundation and it's remainder sits in a scholarship Fund, waiting to be awarded! In 2016, BP101Fund awarded their first scholarships to Border Patrol spouses!
“It is terribly sad to lose one of our own.” Says Kelley. “Since Nick’s death, we’ve lost another four great agents: Alexander Giannini, Manny Alvarez, Rob Hotton and Luis Pena. And prior to Brian’s murder, we lost fine men who worked hard to keep us safe. That is not lost on us. My own husband had a near death experience serving as an agent in Tucson Sector. We don’t take their sacrifices lightly and we are honored to remember them.”
Holly and Kelley, with their team of race volunteers, do not receive any sort of compensation for their efforts. Truly, a labor of love, they do what they can to properly remember Tucson Sectors fallen Border Patrol brothers. They are so very thankful for the many supporters that have supported our border patrol families in Southern Arizona. Thank you for partnering with us to bless others and remember our fallen.
For more information about the race or the scholarship program visit: www.BP101Fund.org
Though they may be fallen, they will never be forgotten. Honor first.