Evans on Friday attempted to rescue two migrants who were crossing the Rio Grande River. Evans was assigned to Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to combat what he has called a crisis at the US-Mexico border.
“This young soldier made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of protecting and serving our country. He will never be forgotten,” Gonzales said.
The Texas Military Department (TMD) said that Evans was a 22-year-old field artilleryman from Arlington, Texas, and had served in the guard for almost two years.
Evans was deployed to Kuwait with assignments in Iraq as part of Operation Spartan Shield before serving on Texas’ southern border, according to the release.
Authorities have said that Evans attempted to help the pair of migrants as they crossed the border near Eagle Pass, Texas. The migrants are suspected of being “involved in illicit transnational narcotics trafficking” and are currently in the custody of US Customs and Border Patrol.
Abbott released a statement saying “we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country.”
The governor thanked the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Patrol and local law enforcement for their efforts in trying to locate Evans.
“We are devastated by the loss of a member of our Guard family,” said Maj. Gen. Tom Suelzer, adjutant general for Texas. “We recognize the selflessness of this heroic Soldier who put his life above others in service to our state and national security. The Texas Military Department sends our deepest condolences to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
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