Four East Texas First Responders Honored By State - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Four East Texas First Responders Honored By State

On the day when America remembers the bravery of police and firefighters, four East Texans are honored in the state capitol. The Star of Texas Award recognizes peace officers and firefighters killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. It's an award that reminds Texans the sacrifices first responders make everyday.  

"Today we give thanks for the invaluable service of our first responders," said Governor Rick Perry. "A day of renewal, a day of remembrance and a day of respect." Among the 49 honored in the capitol, sat two of our own.   In March, Trooper Steven Stone was seriously injured during a routine traffic stop after being shot 5 times.  

"I doubt anybody in this room does what they do to get recognition," said Trooper Steven Stone. "To be recognized with the caliber of people here is just, quite an honor."   New Summerfield Volunteer Firefighter Kenneth Hancock, still recovering from his injuries suffered when a train hit his fire truck, was also honored.

"I saw the people who lost their loved ones and to have Kenneth standing there means the world to me," said Kim Hancock, Kenneth Hancock's wife. 

"Those who do not join us in body, join us in spirit," said Governor Rick Perry. East Texas recently lost two brave peace officers. Today their families received the Star of Texas Award in their honor. The most recent, Smith County Constable Dale Geddie, shot and killed last June while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

"It's just an honor," said Lisa Geddie. "It's an honor. He was a great man. He was just doing what he loved to do." Trooper Jimmy Ray Carty, Jr. died in May 2005 during a training exercise.

"I don't think our society really realizes the sacrifice that peace officers, paramedics and firefighters make," said Christy Carty, Jimmy Ray Carty, Jr.'s wife. "They leave families to go protect the public."

"They made Texas stronger, and we will forever be grateful for their service," said Governor Rick Perry. The Star of Texas Award was passed by the state legislature in 2003 to honor first responders who made profound commitments while performing their duties. It was later changed in 2005 to honor those seriously injured or killed.

Molly Reuter, reporting.


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