EL PASO, Texas -- ABC-7 has covered numerous birthday and graduation parades throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps none more emotional than this one.
U.S. Border Patrol agents joined together to parade past 17-year old Katherine Moya's house to remember her late father, and celebrate her graduation from Burges High School.
Her father, Rene Moya, was a member of the Border Patrol's Mounted Patrol until his death two years ago.
Katherine Moya broke down in tears as she heard sirens and saw her father's friends driving toward her. Each agent handed her a white rose and congratulated her as they passed by.
"It broke my heart, because I miss my dad so much," she said.
Rene battled esophageal cancer for years, and for at least part of that time, Katherine battled alongside him, going through physical therapy after injuring her leg.
The Border Patrol's motto is "Honor First." Fellow agents demonstrated that when they donated hundreds of hours of leave time for Rene while he went through chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation and surgery at MD Anderson.
The Border Patrol "family" was also there for Katherine through it all. She jokes that she has more dads out there, and she's thankful for their support and love.
"They've been at her volleyball games, senior night, whenever there's a vigil.. at mass, they show up. If I need something around the house they'll show up to help, too," said Katherine's mom, Laura Moya. "I'm grateful for everything they do. Border Patrol really is family. They're always there for each other."