TRENTON, Mich. — A new U.S. Border Patrol vessel named after a slain agent
from Michigan was christened by the agent’s mother on Thursday before it began
making its rounds on a section of the Detroit River.
Josephine Terry helped dedicate the 25-foot aluminum-hulled Brian A. Terry
during a ceremony in Trenton, southwest of Detroit.
The vessel is named after her son, who was shot to death in 2010 during a
firefight north of the Arizona-Mexico border. Authorities said the gunfight
broke out between U.S. agents and five men who had sneaked into the country to
rob marijuana smugglers.
The Brian A. Terry will patrol the river south of Detroit to the mouth of Lake
Erie. It is considered a Secure-Around-Flotation-Equipped vessel, or SAFE boat,
which are used to stop smugglers and protect U.S. ports from acts of terrorism.
“It makes me so proud that Brian has been honored in so many ways, and now our
hero has a beautiful vessel in his name, close to the home town where he was
raised,” his 72-year-old mother said during the ceremony at Elizabeth Park. “I
am sure Brian is smiling down and grateful that his brothers in green have
honored and have kept his amazing legacy alive.”
Her son, a former Marine and police officer, was part of an elite squad similar
to a police SWAT team that was sent to the remote areas north of Nogales, Ariz.,
known for border banditry, drug smuggling and violence.
He was waiting with three other agents when the gun battle erupted.
“What Brian did in life and throughout his career in law enforcement and
certainly with the Border Patrol was the epitome of honor,” U.S. Border Patrol
Chief Michael Fisher said Thursday.
“If we could be half of the agent, with half the commitment and dedication to
service and excellence, if we could aspire to be half of what Brian was, then my
career personally would be fulfilled. That’s why I always do not forget.”
Brian Terry grew up in Flat Rock, not far from Thursday’s boat dedication. He
worked as a police office in the Detroit area communities of Ecorse and Lincoln
Park before joining the Border Patrol.