Editorial: Arizona grieves another fallen son
"It was around 11 a.m. when I got the knock on my door," wrote Samantha Light-Gallagher in her book, "Crazy Courage."
"I remember running to the door wondering who it could be. When I opened it, the U.S. Border Patrol was standing on my front door step. It takes the breath out of me just thinking about it. I wanted to shut the door hoping they would disappear. Instead, I stood there, not knowing that what would happen next would change my life ... "
Light-Gallagher then asked the agents to come in, she wrote, and when they were all seated on the couch, "... the higher ranking man sat up straight and looked into my eyes. The words he began to say came out like knives piercing my heart.
"I am sorry, ma'am, but your husband died."
Light-Gallagher's Border Patrol Agent husband, Michael Gallagher, died in the line of duty when a drunk driver crashed into his patrol truck near Casa Grande in September 2010. He was only 32 years old and left his wife and two young sons.
Tragically, this scene played out again early Tuesday when Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie was fatally shot in a rugged, hilly area about 5 miles north of the U.S. border with Mexico near Bisbee. The shooting occurred in an area drug smugglers are known to frequent. It's treacherous and offers hiding places close enough to Mexico for drug smugglers to make a quick getaway. Authorities believe this may have been the case in the senseless act that killed Ivie and hurt another Border Patrol agent in the dark hours of night as they were doing their job.
Although we can't feel the deep pain that Agent Ivie's family is suffering now, we, too, sense "knives piercing" our hearts at the loss of another Border Patrol agent - a husband, a father of two young children and a man dedicated to his job protecting our border with Mexico in Cochise County.
Anger is our first reaction. Arizona is tired of the politics surrounding troubles along the border and how to solve illegal immigration - most especially the drug cartels that invade and kill our people. We want to bring our troops serving in other parts of the world home to help us fight the dangers and corruption on our doorstep.
But, that is unrealistic. All we can do now is hold the Ivie family in our hearts and encourage his widow to find the "Crazy Courage" as Light-Gallagher has to make it through the days ahead.