Four years ago border patrol agent Robert Rosas Jr. was shot and killed in the line of duty.
His memory lives in a commemorative run that continued all night Tuesday and into Wednesday morning along the U.S.-Mexico border just outside of Campo.
It’s 25 steps from the side of the road to the scrub brush where border agent Robert Rosas was ambushed and killed in 2009.
For the courage it took to take those steps, family, friends and fellow agents are running and walking the 68 mile trip from here to his grave sight in Rosas Hometown of El Centro.
“He loved life. That’s something I remember about him the most. He was never down," relay organizer Francisco Santos Jr. said.
Four years fellow border patrol agent Francisco Santos has kept this group running and Robert Rosas memory alive. Santos runs 25.5 miles of the is 68 mile commemorative journey. Charlie 255 was Rosas patrol call sign.
“Even in his death he still brings us together and we love it. It motivates us. He gets us through the night,” Santos said.
It is a relay. Every 2.55 miles runners pass this coin on to the next one. It’s minted in Robert’s likeness.
Some 60 plus friends, border agents and family participate.
“I just miss his presence .I miss him next to us,” sister-in-law Andrea Davila said.
Rosas was lured to this remote desolate border road by five bandits wanting to steal his night vision gear. He was robbed and shot multiple times.
Rosas is survived by his two young children and wife Rosalee.
“You’ve never left us alone. You told us from day one you would never forget him. You’ve shown me so much more then I could have imagined,” Rosalie said.
Robert’s life and love of it is remembered in every stride and step and in the hearts of those who return every year to take the journey.
The relay takes 12 to 13 hours. It is exhausting physically and emotionally. And at the finish line, participants are just as excited bout next year.