Upton County Sheriff's Deputy Billy "Bubba" Kennedy was laid to rest Tuesday in Rankin after an emotional service honoring his life and legacy.
Kennedy was killed in the line of duty in a shooting in McCamey last week.
Law enforcement from across the state came to Rankin to stand in honor of Deputy Kennedy and in support of his family.
More than a dozen agencies from not only West Texas but also across the state were represented - from Border Patrol to county sheriffs and city police as far as Corpus Christi. They all came to honor a fallen brother.
Deputy Bubba Kennedy was remembered as a lawman, a rodeo man but most of all a family man.
"Bubba was more than a family member or a friend," Barry Portman, Kennedy's brother-in-law said. "He was our protector."
Mourners packed the inside of Rankin Park building, while outside many more stood to honor a man some knew personally, while others stood in solidarity after the loss of a fellow deputy.
Sheriff Dan Brown shared light moments about Deputy Kennedy as well as reflected on his character.
"Best lawman, finest lawman I've ever known," he said. "He's one of the best men I've ever known. He had courage. And Bubba had true, old fashioned grit.
The pastor read letters from Kennedy's sons.
15-year-old Lane wrote, "He was the best dad a kid could have. I love him. I would love to be just like him."
He went on to write, "God says to forgive those who do wrong and forget the mistakes. And that's what I'm going to do."
Kennedy's brother-in-law, Barry Portman, said the two talked about taking care of each other's children if anything happened to them.
"As soon as I can, his badge is being tattooed on my right arm, and Lane and Blake added to my left," proclaimed Portman. "I will forever remember him as my protector. He's left a permanent imprint on my life. And with God's help, I'll do my best to protect his family."
Cindy Portman was Kennedy's sister. "This is when I need him the most. And he's not here," she said.
Cindy remembers her brother as a man of character.
"He was a good person. We were extremely, extremely close," she said.
A caravan of countless first responders rode with lights and sirens to his final resting place.
Deputy Kennedy was remembered with full police honors, including a rifle salute, a D.P.S. flyover and a final radio call.
The stars and stripes were precisely folded. Sheriff Dan Brown humbly presented the U.S. flag to Deputy Kennedy's wife Jodi, his bride of 17 years.
Employees from the Stripes Convenience store came to the service wearing their blue uniform shirts. Kennedy's brother-in-law said Deputy Kennedy acted as a protector to the employees at the convenience store the night he died, noting he likely saved the lives of others.
For photos from the service, including pictures of many of the law enforcement agencies that attended CLICK HERE.