Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend an intimate event that marked the launch of a long-overdue organization supporting federal law enforcement. The Border Patrol Foundation held its first annual recognition dinner in downtown D.C. to tout the creation of an organization whose mission is to “provide timely financial grants to the families of fallen” Border Patrol agents. The guest of honor was Rosalie Rosas, the wife of Border Patrol agent Robert Rosas who was killed in the line of duty on July 23.

Ms. Rosas spoke about the value of the Border Patrol as a family and the sense of mission her husband found while working alongside his fellow agents to protect our nation from criminals and terrorists in what must be one of the most challenging law enforcement jobs in America. Border Patrol agents often operate alone, in remote areas of our nation, many minutes and miles from backup or support. They regularly encounter unidentified bands of individuals in the desert who they pursue without knowing how large the group is or whether their targets are harmless illegal immigrants, well-armed drug smugglers or potentially murderous terrorists.

Since 1919, 108 Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty. While these deaths often occur in remote places like Roseau, NM, Campo, CA, or Los Indios, TX, we should be thankful for the sacrifices of these dedicated agents and their families. Ms. Rosa’s remarks, as well as those of Chief of the Border Patrol David Aguilar and Deputy Chief Ronald Colburn, helped personalize these sacrifices, as well as others suffered by Border Patrol families during their loved one’s tours of duty.

I look forward to watching the work of the Border Patrol Foundation in supporting the men and women in uniform to whom many of us are grateful. Although the Border Patrol Foundation was launched just this year by committed friends and advocates of the U.S. Border Patrol, it appears to be off to a solid start, particularly given the impressive support shown by the Washington community at its inaugural event on Friday night.