SAN ANTONIO -

Friends, family and fellow officers gathered Thursday to honor the memory of fallen San Antonio Police Officer Mario Valdez.

Valdez, a 16-year-veteran of the department, died on Aug. 8. He was laid to rest at San Fernando Cemetery with full police honors.

Valdez was struck by a drunken driver while directing traffic in 2003, but rehabilitated and returned to duty a year later.

SAPD Chief William McManus said the outpouring of support at his funeral was so strong because of the bonds Valdez formed with his colleagues.

"They risk their lives, put their lives on the line everyday. Every situation that they go into could possibly go bad. So, they depend on each other and that builds that camaraderie that you need in this kind of job," said McManus.

Mario's wife Tracy said thanked the City of San Antonio for the support and added that her husband will "live on in our hearts."

Valdez was 41-years-old. An official cause of death has not been released.