When Sgt. Pedro "Pete" Perez returned from a second tour overseas with the Marine Corps Reserves in 2011, his fellow police officers in Donna were there to welcome him home.
"These guys were all happy to have him back," Chief Ram De Leon said. "It's a brother that's been missing for some time. And the void that day was filled."
But the void at the Donna Police Department is back.
It's not from war this time rather cancer.
The chief says it's been difficult to see "Pete" gone once again.
"I know cancer doesn't discriminate," he said. "It's horrible. But from his dad, he's going to make it. He's gonna live for his 3 kids."
Pete is fighting a rare form of bone cancer at MD Anderson in Houston.
And while he needs several more rounds of chemotherapy for cancer in his lungs, he's already won the battle against a tumor in his leg by making a life-changing decision.
"They removed my left leg and part of my pelvis," "Pete" said. "The tumor I had in there... that's gone. It's been completely removed."
His wife and 3 children have been a great source of inspiration, according to "Pete."
But so have his friends at the Donna PD where he's worked for the last 3 years.
"I appreciate their support," he said. "I really do. They've been sending me messages everyday letting me know that they're out there pulling for me and they hope I recover quickly."
He hopes to be able to serve and protect once again.
"God puts different obstacles out there for a reason," he said. I think it could be a real possibility. You never know."
Pete's boss says his spot will be waiting for him.
"If "Pete" says he's going to come back, I believe him," the chief said. "He'll be back standing and he'll surprise us all."
A benefit car show and BBQ for Pete will take place on August 17th at the Al Willeford Chevrolet dealership in Portland, Texas near Corpus Christi.
It runs from 9am to 5pm with an entry fee of $20.00 per vehicle.
We TMre told 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Donna police officer.
Anyone with information can call organizers, one who served in the war with him, at (361) 960-6992.
A bank account has also been set up at the First National Bank in Donna under the name Teresa Perez for Pedro Omar Perez.