Gloria Garza’s father died in the line of duty when she was 3 years old.
(Bexar County Sheriff’s Office )
Gloria Garza celebrated one of the greatest moments of her young life on Friday when they graduated from Southwest High School in San Antonio, Texas. Despite the tension, however, there was one important person missing from the 18-year-old’s big day: her father and former deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Jesus “Jesse” Garza, who died in the line of duty nearly 15 years ago.
It was for this reason that the deputies with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office decided to escort Garza her graduation.
A patrol unit accompanied the teen to the event, where, upon arrival, they walked arm-in-arm with Sheriff Javier Salazar, according to KSAT.
“It is a member of the family whether we knew him or not. We all wear the same uniform. We all wear the same badge. We are going to step up and do what we need to do for each other,” Salazar told the news station.
“I know Jesse would do this completely as he could now. That he can’t be with us, he has the 1,500 brothers and sisters who are willing to do it for him,” he added.
In December 2003, Jesus Garza was killed in a car accident while answering an emergency call, according to the sheriff’s office. Garza was just 3 years old.
The members of the San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County District 7 Fire Rescue and the Bexar-Bulverde Volunteer Fire department also helped to escort a teenager to her graduation.
Garza also met with Jesse, a horse named after her father, who is part of the sheriff’s office mounted division.
“I had not expected any of this. It’s just amazing,” Garza told KSAT.
While Garza didn’t have the chance to get to know her father, the teenager says that she is often reminded of their striking resemblance.
“My family tells me I’m just like him — the way I walk and talk. I know that he would be proud of me for who I am,” Garza said.
Garza, who was also presented with a badge engraved with her father’s number to wear around her neck, is the building to the study of biology at Stephen F. Austin University. She hopes to one day be a neonatal doctor.
Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.