Texas Widow of Border Patrol Agent Who Died on Line of Duty Is Heartbroken over Short-Term Benefits

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

Inez Vasquez was heartbroken when her husband, a Border Patrol K-9 handler, died after contracting COVID-19 while on the line of duty in December 2021.

Freddie Vasquez was responding to a report about undocumented immigrants in Anthony, Texas, during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic when he was infected. 

He was placed on a ventilator and later died of pneumonia on May 8, 2021. 

“Seeing him wasting away — that was just heart-wrenching,” his wife, Inez Vasquez, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Prior to all this, he was a person who was very full of life. He was a people person, very social. This man never met a stranger, honestly. He was somebody who could strike up a conversation with anybody anywhere.”

 Inez Vasquez felt some relief when she learned she was receiving survivor benefits that amounted to 45% of his salary. Her two children also would receive 15% of his salary. 

“At the very least, I thought, OK, I was given financial peace of mind through that,” Inez said.

Then she learned those benefits, under the American Rescue Plan Act, would expire on Sept. 30, 2030. The benefits are for surviving family members of federal employees who die from COVID-19. 

“Now this peace of mind has been ripped away,” Inez said. “We find ourselves trying to fight to keep our benefits like any other surviving spouse who lost their spouse in the line of duty.”

Leave a Reply