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A man of courage


MONAHANS, Texas — When John L. Carter retired from the U.S. Border Patrol recently, it marked the first time in the federal law enforcement agency’s 84-year history that a member of his immediate family wasn’t serving.
Carter, a member of the Monahans church, is a third-generation border patrolman.
His grandfather, Horace B. Carter, was one of the original 450 agents who took an oath to prevent illegal crossings of the U.S.-Mexico border. His grandmother, Ila Baker Carter, was honored as “Mother of the U.S. Border Patrol.”
His father, Harlon B. Carter, served as Chief of the Border Patrol and regional commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Though he never became a full-time minister, John L. Carter earned a preaching degree from Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas.
He credits the institute’s instructors, including Mike Strawn, with influencing his faith and commitment to the Border Patrol’s motto — “Honor First.”
John L. Carter also is an accomplished visual artist. He crafted a 20-foot-high steel statue of legendary Border Patrol agent and performer John Ward. The statue was dedicated outside the National Border Patrol Museum in El Paso, Texas, in May 2008.
“John Carter is a man of extraordinary personal courage — that is, physical, moral and spiritual courage,” Strawn said of his former student. “He is a member of a class of men through the ages who have seen the significance of important ideas and live them out amidst the pressures of temporal existence. He is to be greatly admired.”

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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