FBI Special Agent Don Knapp drowned while rescuing swimmers in Puerto Rico. Photo: FBI
Since Christmas, the federal law enforcement community has lost five heroes. Two were fatally wounded by gunfire, one drowned during a rescue effort, and two succumbed to severe medical attacks. Irrespective of the type of fatality, all of these officers dedicated their lives to protecting the citizenry of our great nation. Unfortunately, four of them had children who must now face life without the emotional and financial support of their loving parent.
No child should ever have to lose a parent under these tragic circumstances, and I am respectfully asking all of you for help. Here’s how you can make a tax deductible contribution:
The FLEOA Foundation, a non-profit charitable extension of FLEOA, has a Website, which accepts donations for the families of fallen federal officers. You can also visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) Website and make a contribution.
Besides donating, I ask that you use all forms of social media to circulate this message to all your friends and family members. If everyone made just a small contribution, it would add up to a formidable total. Please help spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and other effective forms of social media. For the sake of our heroes' children, we all must try.
Here are the stories of the families that need your help.
• FBI Special Agent Dan Knapp, Puerto Rico. While he was at the beach, bystanders ran to Knapp and solicited his help to rescue a distressed swimmer. Knapp immediately responded without hesitation, swam into rough currents, and attempted to rescue the victim. Unfortunately, while the struggling swimmer survived, Knapp drowned. He is survived by his parents and four brothers.
• ATF Special Agent John Capano, New York. After observing an armed robbery in progress, Capano intervened in a heroic attempt to stop the violent offender from escaping. He employed outstanding tactics and successfully prevented the career violent criminal from getting away. Tragically, Capano was fatally wounded. His assailant was also killed. Capano is survived by his wife, two children, and his father, who is a retired NYPD officer.
• National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson, Washington. While establishing a road block to prevent a pursued suspect from escaping, Anderson was fatally wounded by the suspect—a deranged gunman—who opened fire on her. After firing at Anderson and other responding law enforcement officers, the gunman fled into the surrounding area. A manhunt was organized, and he was ultimately found dead. Anderson is survived by her husband Eric, also an NPS Park Ranger, and two young daughters.
• IRS-CID Special Agent DFO Julio La Rosa, Washington, D.C. On the morning of Jan. 3, La Rosa was engaging in the agency's health improvement program and exercising at the government gym. La Rosa was a physical fitness advocate and prided himself on his conditioning. Unexpectedly, while engaging in his morning workout regimen, La Rosa sustained a fatal massive heart attack. La Rosa served as the Deputy Director, Office of International Operations for Criminal Investigation (CI). He is survived by his wife and two children.
• U.S. Postal Service Officer Nancy Arce, New York. After enduring a courageous battle against cancer, Arce died. Arce was raising her daughter alone while fighting cancer because she lost her husband to tragic circumstances years ago. Arce was one of the leaders in pioneering the district's formidable tactical training program. Unfortunately, with Arce's passing, her young daughter is now left without both of her parents.
Each of the above heartbreaking stories involved a real hero who suffered a tragic ending. The surviving family members and children now need our financial and emotional support as they endure a grueling time.
We can't undo the horror of a family losing a hero, but we can pull together as a national family and demonstrate our united support for our fallen. For those of you who may have an affinity for organizing fundraising drives, please do so. If you arrange a golf event, I'll be the first to register. If you organize a silent auction, I'll be the first to place a bid. If you sell raffle tickets at an event, I’ll be the first to buy. I am confident that thousands will do the same. Our heroes’ children need our collective support now.
Let us all join together as one to help the children so that our heroes may rest in eternal honor. Please keep all of our fallen heroes in your thoughts and prayers, and honor them by enjoying the gift of life safely each day.