The body of a missing national guardsman was recovered by authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Texas Military Department (TMD) said Monday.
Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop E. Evans, 22, was assigned to Operation Lone Star as part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s deployment of state resources to address the border surge.
“We are devastated by the loss of a member of our Guard family. 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,” Maj. Gen. Tom Suelzer, Adjutant General for Texas, said in a press release.
Evans went missing Friday after he went into the Rio Grande river to save two migrants who appeared to be drowning, according to the TMD. The two migrants were later discovered to have been involved in a drug trafficking operation, according to the TMD. (RELATED: CBP Makes Massive Fentanyl, Meth, And Heroin Seizures At The Border)
“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop E. Evans who was reported missing in Eagle Pass on Friday. Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others and we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country,” Abbott said in a statement.
“I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss,” Abbott added.
We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop Evans.
He heroically served his state & country.
I want to thank all rescue teams that worked to locate this soldier.
Join me & Cecilia in praying for the family & friends of SPC Evans. pic.twitter.com/xwSZlqEGhT
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 25, 2022
Evans, from Arlington, Texas, was a field artilleryman assigned to A Battery, 4-133 Field Artillery Regiment in New Braunfels, Texas. He joined the Texas Army National Guard in 2019 and returned from serving in Kuwait as part of Operation Spartan Shield in 2020.
“During this mobilization, his dedication, talents, and tactical prowess led his leadership to regularly assign him to operations in Iraq in support of Special Operations Forces for short periods of time, while then rotating back into Kuwait,” the TMD said in a previous statement.
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