Scottsdale, Ariz.- The Scottsdale International Auto Museum is filled with classic cars from Thunderbird convertibles to MGs with Pink Lady and T-Bird jackets hanging next to an Elvis statue near the back, but Saturday night the museum was turned into a place for people to celebrate the life of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry by supporting his family. Nearly 100 people showed their support by bidding on donated items to raise funds for his mother, Josephine Terry. The funds will be used by Josephine to attend hearings about her son’s death on Capitol Hill as the House Oversight Committee continues to dig into Operation Fast and Furious. If you aren’t familiar by now, Terry was murdered in the Arizona desert by illegal Mexican cartel bandits. Two of the guns used to kill him, were provided through the lethal Obama Justice Department Operation Fast and Furious.
The event was kicked off with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by a beautiful rendition of the famous song “Hallelujah,” which brought tears to eyes of many in the audience.
Kris Jenkins, a friend of Brian’s, drove from Sierra Vista, Ariz. to attend the event. Like many members of the Terry family and close friends that night, she was wearing a navy blue baseball style t-shirt printed with the words “Agent Terry” on the back. Terry’s family flew all the way from Michigan to attend the event.
"I'm here to support the family, support the cause," Jenkins said.
Another woman, Joan Ponath, had been in a car accident just minutes before the event started, but refused to the hospital.
"I wouldn’t have missed this for the world," Ponath said.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and former Congressman Tom Tancredo were also in attendance.
"The people of Arizona love you and will always remember Brian Terry," Brewer said. "Brian was a brave and faithful warrior."
Jay Dobyns, ATF Special Agent, American hero and best selling author of "No Angel," was the emcee of the night, and made the crowd laugh by changing outfits in between speakers, just like an awards show. Dobyns also toasted to Terry’s memory throughout the night straight from a big bottle of Jack Daniels.
"I personally feel cheated I never got to meet him," Dobyns said. "This man dedicated his entire adult life to doing America's business."
A native of Detroit, Terry was a Marine, a police officer and a special operations BORTAC agent for the U.S. Border Patrol. BORTAC is described by the Department of Homeland Security as a tactical unit that provides immediate response to emergency and high-risk incidents that require skills above average border agent training. BORTAC is similar to specialized police SWAT teams. Terry tried out for and made the BORTAC team at the age of 38, an unheard of accomplishment.
"Nothing was impossible for Brian," Lana Domino, organizer of the event and a close friend to Brian said. "He would give you the last dollar in his pocket and the shirt off his back. He loved his country as much as he loved his own family and friends."
ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu joked about Brian, saying typical law enforcement work was "too easy for him," so he opted for working around "rattle snakes, scorpions, darkness and bad people," in the Arizona desert instead.
Although the event remained focused on supporting Josephine Terry in her efforts to find out what happened to her son and celebrating Brian's life in a positive way, there is no doubt an elephant was in the room. Bad decisions made by a long list of men responsible for the implementation of Fast and Furious within ATF and the Obama Justice Department, who have yet to be held accountable or face consequences for the lethal program, were in the back of everybody's mind. Those men are former ATF Field Supervisors for the Phoenix Field Division William Newell and David Voth, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett, former ATF Deputy Director of Operations in the West William McMahon, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and Attorney General Eric Holder to name a few. McMahon, Voth and Newell have been promoted, despite their heavy involvement in Fast and Furious.
In America we not only believe in truth, but in justice," Babeu said, adding that as Americans we owe it to Brian and his family to ensure at the end of the day that there is justice. "We will not relent."
ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu didn't mince words when addressing the audience about what happened to Brian.
"He's [Terry] the guy with the badge that's all scratched up," Cefalu said. "These people who put us through this [Fast and Furious] will never have scuffed up and dirty badges."
And Cefalu is correct. The men behind Fast and Furious have made careers out of wearing suits and sitting at a desk, while field agents who have exposed Fast and Furious, have been out getting dirty and risking it all, just as Brian did. In this case, the men with the shiny badges made decisions to put American law enforcement agents in grave danger by providing Mexican drug cartels with 2,000 high powered semi-automatic weapons. Cefalu gave the men responsible for Fast and Furious a chance to go on stage, issue an apology and hold themselves accountable, but of course, people like William Newell and Lanny Breuer didn't show up.
"And that is exactly why I am here," Cefalu said.
Cefalu keeps a poem Brian wrote during BORTAC training in his wallet. He looked Josephine Terry in the eyes, pulled the poem out of his wallet and said the poem will stay in his wallet until she calls him and says she is satisfied, until then, he will carry it everywhere he goes.
If you seek to do battle with me this day, you will receive the best that I am capable of giving. It may not be enough, but it will be everything that I have to give and it will be impressive for I have constantly prepared myself for this day. I have trained, drilled and rehearsed my actions so that I might have the best chance of defeating you. I have kept myself in peak physical condition, schooled myself in the martial skills and have become proficient in the applications of combat tactics. You may defeat me, but I'm willing to die if necessary. I do not fear death for I have been close enough to it on enough occasions that it no longer concerns me. But, I do fear the loss of my honor and would rather die fighting than to have it said that I was without courage. So I will fight you, no matter how insurmountable it may seem, to the death if need be, in order that it may never be said of me that I was not a warrior." -Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
"There is a handful of people who made tragic decisions," Dobyns said referring to Operation Fast and Furious. "I'm not going to call them mistakes, because they were tragic decisions."
Although tragic and hard to believe, Brian's death comes with a silver lining. His death, along with the bravery of ATF whistleblowers who have risked their professional careers to expose Fast and Furious, have shined a blaring light on rampant corruption at the highest levels possible within ATF and the Department of Justice. Hopefully, through continuing pressure from Congressman Darrell Issa, Senator Charles Grassley and a handful of media outlets, justice will be served.
"Brian is going to change the way America does business," Dobyns said.