Organization pays off mortgage of fallen Amarillo police officer, other Texas first responders


The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is honored to announce it has paid off the mortgages on the homes of four fallen Texas first responders, ensuring their families, who are facing the holidays without their loved one, will always have a place to call home.

Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgages on the homes of:

Amarillo Police Sergeant Michael Dunn

San Antonio Fire Department Engineer Lyle Crawford Jr

S. Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate

Harris County Deputy Sheriff Shaun Waters

Amarillo Police Sergeant Michael David Dunn died on October 22nd, 2021 from complications as a result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.

Immediately following high school, Dunn enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving tours in Okinawa, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Somalia. Dunn was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps as a Sergeant in December of 1994.

Upon his return to Texas, Dunn attended Central Texas College where he enrolled in criminal justice administration classes. He then continued his studies at Amarillo College before beginning his extensive career with the Amarillo Police Department. Dunn became a patrol officer in 1995 where he trained in firearms, narcotics, basic SWAT, interview, and interrogation.

Sergeant Dunn is survived by his wife, Delonda, and their four children, Bailey, Reagan, Michael, and Chloe.

For Delonda, Tunnel to Towers support meant that her family could stay in their home.

“My house payment was my family’s only debt and by far our largest monthly expense. When the Tunnel to Towers Foundation lifted this burden, it gave my family peace of mind during an uncertain time. My kids and I were given the certainty that we would be able to remain in our home where so many happy memories were created with their dad and my husband. This gift from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has blessed my family beyond measure and we are forever grateful,” said Delonda Dunn.

San Antonio Fire Department Engineer Lyle James Crawford Jr passed away on February 16th, 2022 from complications as a result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.

Crawford decided to pursue a career in firefighting after his time of service with the Navy. Crawford is remembered as a courageous Firefighter who served 15 years for the San Antonio Fire Department. In addition to his extensive training as a firefighter, he also pursued Paramedic training and graduated from Paramedic Class #55 in December 2020.

Crawford Jr. is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 16 years, Jennifer, and his three children, Kimber, Layna, and Colt.

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate passed away on August 16, 2021 due to COVID related complications while on duty.

Zarate devoted 12 years of his life to the United States Customs and Border Protection in Rio Grande Valley Sector, Texas, having joined in February 2009. Zarate made the decision to pursue a career in law enforcement because he wanted to protect and serve his community. Knowing the dangers of putting on his uniform each day, Zarate served proudly and without fear.

When he was not serving and protecting the community, Zarate enjoyed volunteering at his church and at his children’s schools. Zarate is remembered for his devotion to his career and his family.

He is survived by his wife Crystal, and two children, Payton and Ezekiel.

Harris County Deputy Sheriff Shaun Christopher Waters died on August 1st, 2021 from complications as a result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.

Waters was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where he lived for most of his life. In 2010 he decided to relocate himself along with his family to Houston, Texas after being hired as a Detention Officer for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Two years later, Waters became a full-time Peace Officer for District 4 Patrol. Following this point in his career, Waters also took on the role as a Patrol Field Training Officer, a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor, and he held multiple Tactical and Firearm Instructor Certifications.

Deputy Waters is survived by his wife, Arsolanda, and their two children, Marverlina and Shaun II.

“Losing Shaun changed my world forever. He was so much more than my husband; he was the father of our two children and my best friend. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation lifted one of those burdens and allowed me to focus on my children’s well-being. I am forever humbled, honored, and grateful for what this foundation has done for my children and I. Your generosity has been truly a blessing to my family during our path toward healing,” said Waters’ wife Arsolanda Lamothe.

“This holiday season, we honor those families who have sacrificed so much for all of us. To the families who are still grieving the recent loss of a loved one and to those who are enduring another year with an empty seat at the table, Tunnel to Towers is honored to celebrate your loved one’s service and ensure that you and your family can stay in your home forever,”  said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO  Frank Siller.

This year alone, Tunnel to Towers will deliver over 200 mortgage-free homes across the country to America’s heroes and their families.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.

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