Home Politics & Government Star of Texas Award Ceremony

Gov. Perry Honors Fallen and Injured Texas Peace Officers, First Responders

AUSTIN—Gov. Rick Perry today honored peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty for the sacrifices they have made to protect Texans. The governor was joined by Attorney General Greg Abbott, peace officers, first responders and families at the Star of Texas Award Ceremony.

“Over the past year, Texas has seen its share of disasters, and, once again, we were able to depend upon our best and brightest to come to our defense,” Gov. Perry said. “Every day, they are the ones ensuring a safe return home and that we make it to birthdays, weddings and graduations. The people we honor today were a part of a higher calling and helped make Texas a safer, stronger and better place to live.”

The Star of Texas Awards were created by House Bill 1937 in 2003 to honor and commemorate individuals who have made profound commitments while performing their duties as peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders. The award was expanded in 2005 to include all peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty on or after Sept. 1, 2003. HB 1164 in 2007 further expanded the award to include federal law enforcement officers or special agents seriously injured or killed while performing duties in Texas to assist state or local law enforcement. Three advisory committees are appointed by the governor to review award nominations each year.

This year’s Star of Texas Award recipients are as follows:

Emergency Medical First Responders Killed in the Line of Duty

Mike Hatley, East Texas Medical Center EMS

Michael Thomas Steffen, Northern Hudspeth County EMS

Firefighters Killed in the Line of Duty

Todd Wesley Krodle, Dallas Fire-Rescue Department

Thomas Trevino Araguz III, Wharton Volunteer Fire Department

Peace Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

Jaime De Luna Padron, Austin Police Department

Karl McDonough, El Paso Police Department

Javier Arana Jr., Texas Department of Public Safety

Kevin Lee Aigner, Travis County Precinct #2 Constables Office

Firefighters Seriously Injured in the Line of Duty

Robert Paul Shuster, Department of Defense United States Air Force

Captain Darin Unruh, Houston Fire Department

Peace Officers Seriously Injured in the Line of Duty

Steven Bryan Graham, Arlington Police Department

Michael Guetzke, Austin Police Department

Kenneth McDonnell, Austin Police Department

Robert McGowen, Austin Police Department

Gary Morrison, Austin Police Department

David Nordstrom, Austin Police Department

William Phipps, Austin Police Department

Melinda Robinson, Austin Police Department

Jennifer Stephenson, Austin Police Department

Frank R. Wilson, V, Austin Police Department

Carlos Vallejo, Austin Police Department

Bobby Vu, Austin Police Department

Guy Watkins, Austin Police Department

Gary Zumwalt, Austin Police Department

Cougan Dion Hignight, Caldwell Police Department

Aaron Beseda, Cleburne Police Department

Tracy Lynn Sheets, College Station Police Department

Daryl W. Anderson, Corpus Christi Department

Phillip Bintliff, Corpus Christi Police Department

Israel Carrasco, Corpus Christi Police Department

Enrique Roman, Corpus Christi Police Department

Douglas Rush, Corpus Christi Police Department

Jose Smith Jr. Corpus Christi Police Department

Kyle M. Louster, Dallas Police Department

Lloyd Whitaker, Dallas Police Department

Ronald Dane Workman, Dallas Police Department

Ricardo Lopez, El Paso Police Department

Vincent Garcia, Freeport Police Department

Clifford Hankins, Fort Worth Police Department

Osvaldo R. Gutierrez, Houston Police Department

Victor Wayne Hill, Houston Police Department

John Paul Horelica, Houston Police Department

Nainash S. Patel, Houston Police Department

Isidro Perez III, Houston Police Department

Jeffrey Lee Werner, Houston Police Department

Kevin James, Justin Police Department

Martin Anthony Flores, Round Rock Police Department

Jonathan Esquivel, San Antonio Police Department

Fredrick W. Bauer, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office

Justin Duck, Texas Department of Public Safety

Max Chris Honesto, Texas Department of Public Safety

For more information about the Star of Texas Awards, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/cjd/star_awards/.

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