Vigil held in Edinburg for national guardsmen, Border Patrol agent killed in RGV helicopter crash

EDINBURG, Texas – The City of Edinburg held a vigil on Monday to honor the two National Guard soldiers and Border Patrol agent who were killed in a helicopter crash along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Casey Frankoski, 28, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Grassia, 30, both with the New York National Guard; and Border Patrol Agent Chris Luna, 49, were killed on March 8 in a field near Rio Grande City.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, United States Army personnel, and loved ones shared fond memories of Grassia, Frankoski, and Luna at the Edinburg Amphitheater.

“For those who didn’t get the chance to meet John and Casey, they were amazing individuals, always looking after everyone. For those who did know them, they were practically brother and sister. They were the first to have each other’s back” said David Mackey, U.S. Army Department of Defense.

Maria Giron of U.S. Customs and Border Protection took the stage to share her memory of Chris, “from one agent to the next, all I would hear is, “he was one of the good guys, best person you’ll ever meet.” He was one who always had your back, especially in difficult times.”

A fourth person, also with the National Guard, was injured and remains hospitalized.

The cause of the helicopter crash remains under investigation.


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