97ºF

Brothers in blue escort fallen officer's daughter in graduation ceremony

Officer Juan Antonio Morales died in 2001 after service vehicle sideswiped

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police officers gathered Saturday at Natalia High School to show their support for the daughter of a fallen officer.

Officer Juan Antonio Morales died in 2001 after a driver, Jose Luis Garcia, who was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, sideswiped Morales’ service motorcycle.

Morales’ youngest child, who was 15 months old at the time, graduated high school Saturday. Her father may have not been able to attend, but their family in blue was there to keep his memory alive.

Julianna Morales rode to her graduation in a police escort and was greeted by her family in blue.

Although it has been more than 16 years since Morales’ death, his fellow officers remain loyal.

“Once I read this in the bulletin, I felt I needed to be here,” said Sgt. Wes McCourt, who attended the police academy with Morales.

McCourt said Morales was family and so is his daughter.

“We're policemen. We're brothers. She's kind of like our niece; got to take care of her,” McCourt said.

The police officers’ dedication was appreciated by Julianna and her mother.

“I'm just really glad that we have the support of our family in blue to be there for us,” said Rena Morales, the officer's widow.

Beyond having her father’s brothers in blue at the graduation, Julianna also graduated from her father’s alma mater.

Julianna will head out on her own soon. She will attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she will study pre-pharmacy and compete on the powerlifting team.

“I'm sure he's watching down over her right now and just full of joy and happy that he has his fellow brothers in blue to watch over her,” Rena Morales said.


About the Author: