Photo by Border Patrol

The Brian Terry Foundation: Honoring a Hero Gunned Down by the Cartel

In 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was brutally gunned down by Mexican cartel members on American soil. The weapons used were traced back to an Obama administration-backed program whose supposed purpose was to track illegal firearm sales.

Known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” the botched program and Terry’s subsequent death have left many Americans shaking their heads in disgust.

Sadly. the firearms provided by this program have been linked to the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and cartel kingpins such as El Chapo.

In addition to the grief of Terry’s family and fellow U.S. Border Patrol agents in the wake of the attack, no sector was rocked as hard as the gun industry. This scandal was a direct attack on their livelihood. Therefore, a small group of dedicated members of the firearms-training community have been working year after year to raise funds for the Brian Terry Foundation. They are searching for answers in the aftermath of the crime.

Erik “Trek” Utrecht, owner of Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute (MDFI), has been the tip of the spear in this effort. He uncovered that a member of the gun community was defrauding friends and community members out of money in the name of the slain agent. Utrecht and others immediately exposed the scam, which had pulled in roughly $11,000.

With a background as a private investigator, Utrecht took it upon himself to get involved directly. He worked with the Terry family and help set things right. 

By contacting Michelle Terry-Balogh, Brian’s sister, and convincing her that he was (in his words) “not a certifiable nut-job,” Utrecht laid out his plan to raise funds for the Foundation. Riding his bike solo from Terry’s hometown in Michigan, all the way to the Arizona border, ending at the Border Patrol outpost in Bisbee. The journey was a total of 2,000 miles. After training for five months, Utrecht accomplished the task in 25 days, raising an amazing $30,000 for the foundation.

The bike ride gained national attention. Utrecht publicized this politically-charged issue through print, social-media videos, podcasts and on radio shows. The firearms-manufacturing and training community began to rally around the cause. ATEi and Dark Angel Medical used their influence to host the “Danger Zone Party” in Las Vegas during SHOT Show. Auctions were held with all proceeds going to the foundation.

Following the bike ride in 2016, the community raised over $20,000 at their first auction. Over $122,800 has been raised in the memory of Brian Terry.

The mission of the Brian Terry Foundation is to “honor Brian’s work ethic, love of country and love for his fellow Border Patrol Agents”.

The foundation provides emotional and financial assistance to other Border Patrol agents and families. There are scholarships for students and recognition of the “top-performing graduate of each U.S. Border Patrol BORTAC agent training class with the Brian A. Terry Award.” 

By the end of 2017, all the gunmen suspected to be involved in Terry’s death had been rounded up.

It should be noted, not a single member of the U.S. government has been held accountable for participating in this disastrous operation.

Visit HonorBrianTerry.com for more information.

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