On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Border Patrol Agents Fernando Galvan and Arturo Gutierrez were recognized by United States Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello for a heroic act that took place two years ago.
The agents were awarded the Border Patrol’s highest honor for valor, the Newton-Azrak Award. The story of how they pulled two men from a burning vehicle, ultimately saving their lives, was highlighted in a brief ceremony at the Weslaco Border Patrol Station led by Rio Grande Valley Chief Manuel Padilla, Jr.
Since the early 1900’s, Mounted Watchmen, Patrol Inspectors, and Border Patrol Agents have placed themselves in harm’s way to secure our great nation. The Newton-Azrak Award was established after two Patrol Inspectors, Theodore Newton and George Azrak, were kidnapped from a Border Patrol checkpoint and executed back in 1967. “This annual award is the highest honor that can be bestowed for acts of bravery or heroism to our agents and we couldn’t be more proud of these agents”, said Chief Manuel Padilla.