Congresswoman Monica De La Cruz introduced a bipartisan bill Friday to rename a United States Postal Service facility after the Border Patrol agent who died in the line of duty last month.
The facility located at 620 E. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen will now be known as the Agent Raul H. Gonzalez Jr. Memorial Post Office through the efforts of Congresswoman De La Cruz and her team to honor the fallen agent.
“Today we are celebrating the ultimate sacrifice and life of Agent Raul H. Gonzalez Jr. who tragically passed away in the line of duty last month,” De La Cruz said. “This community loves and supports our Border Patrol and Customs agents and so, I have put together bipartisan legislation to rename this building in his honor.”
Gonzalez died on Dec. 7 when he crashed into a steel gate with his ATV around 1 a.m. that night while tracking a group of people who had crossed the border illegally.
The gate, which was at the center of two previous accidents, has since been removed following Gonzalez’s crash.
According to a statement by Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, other agents found Gonzalez unresponsive and called an ambulance, which transported him to a local hospital where he died.
Gonzalez had served in the Border Patrol since 2011.
“He loved what he did, protecting this country and he did a damn good job about it,” Yvonne Martinez, Gonzalez’s common law wife, said. “He did. He loved what he was doing. He was always excited when he came home just to tell me about his day.”
Martinez, who works as a Customs and Border Protection officer, said Gonzalez loved to share stories about his work with her and described them as “much more exciting” than hers.
“He liked that he was able to help the children, give them water and treat them like human beings,” Martinez said. “He had a big heart so it kind of hit home to him because he has kids.”
Gonzalez’s children, 8-year-old Sebastian and 5-year-old Camila, were also present at Friday afternoon.
Martinez says the service and the recognition Gonzalez is receiving is helping her heal through the grieving process.
“It helps because he’s being recognized for his hard work that he’s done,” Martinez said. “These men and women put their lives on the line. Not many people realize the danger that is out there.”