Below is a partial interview. Enjoy my latest article in full at eastcoastequestrian.net
Pennsylvania Native Protects U.S. Border – on Horseback
Alicia Stephens-Martin – January 2018
At age fifty-five, I’ve finally developed the confidence to reach for my dreams. So when I meet a young woman who already stands out in her career, with self-assurance combined with a love for horses, I am instantly curious.
I had the privilege to interview Katie Griffith Clare, who lost her mother while too young, with whom she shared a love of horses, and knew she wanted to make a difference. Today Katie connects all three, patrolling the U.S. border. Katie and her steadfast steed are the living wall—the one President Trump would find almost impossible to build of brick and mortar because of terrain.
In some border areas a wall would be impractical, but horses can easily journey. According to Katie, horses even help by detecting sounds and smells, keen only to the animal.
We met at a September horse show in Lancaster County, far from where Katie, a native of southern Pennsylvania, works on the southwest border in San Diego, California. She graduated from Eastern High School and attended Alvernia College in Reading, PA. Nothing about her demeanor revealed her ability to handle a gun, withstand days on the range, or capture illegals. She simply smiled from her borrowed mount, happy to see all her missed friends.
Katie serves as a United States Border Patrol Agent—a federal position. In her words, her job is to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorists, and terrorist weapons from entering the U.S., and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband. She and her fellow agents are the uniformed law enforcement arm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. With over 21,000 agents, the U.S. Border Patrol is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Not until after this interview when I researched the Border Patrol did I realize the daunting task horse and rider face every day. . . .
Please read the the interview at east coast equestrian.net
Katie inspired me to do more research. On a typical day the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) screens over a million international visitors, processes 74,000 truck, rail, and sea containers, seizes nearly 5 tons of illicit drugs, and apprehends more than 1000 individuals for possible criminal activity. The CBP is responsible for patrolling 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian borders and 2,000 miles of coastline according to their website. Agents like Katie and her four-legged partner work diligently, without recognition in all types of conditions.
To further appreciate what this team does for us every day, visit http://www.cbp.gov. You will even find buried deep in the career choices page a brown-haired girl. In Katie’s smile you can almost see her love of horse, career, and country.
Please enjoy the actual interview at the East Coast Equestrian Magazine