Christmas came early this year for Kyle Cox, a terminally ill teenager from El Paso, Texas. Cox suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the leading genetic killer of children worldwide, but has always dreamed of becoming a law enforcement agent. On Nov. 3, agents from the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office in El Paso made that wish come true. Dennis Ulrich, deputy special agent in charge (DSAC) of the El Paso office, swore him in as an honorary ICE HSI special agent.
"We gave this young man an opportunity to live, even if for just one afternoon, the dream we all live every single day," said Special Agent Victor Sanchez, a key organizer in the award presentation.
The El Paso Special Response Team Unit, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Air and Marine Unit, thrilled more than 2,700 high school students during a pep rally for an upcoming football game. The team members arrived via helicopter on El Paso's Coronado High School football field to honor Cox. In front of the roaring crowd, DSAC Ulrich presented him with a plaque and the title of honorary special agent.
"There just aren't words for the awe the gratitude the humility in our hearts," said Cox's mom Kristen. "[We] were overwhelmed by the number of people who gave up their time to make a special memory for a little guy."
Cox proudly displays the plaque in a prominent place in his home for everyone to see.
ICE HSI agents met Cox at a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children event earlier this fall. ICE HSI special agent Gilbert Anthony Campa was being honored at that event for leading an investigation that led to the conviction of an El Paso high school teacher on child pornography charges. Cox expressed his interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement to ICE HSI agents that night.