Who was Kris Eggle?
When you arrive in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, your first stop should be the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. Organ Pipe National Monument’s visitor was officially re-designated by the United States Congress as the Kris Eggle Visitor Center on November 22, 2003.
So, who was Kris Eggle and why name this building in his honor.
Kristopher William Eggle was a Law Enforcement Park Ranger and very good man from Cadillac, Michigan. He was an Eagle Scout, a National Honor Society Student, and valedictorian of his graduating class at Cadillac High School in 1991. In high school, he was a member of the cross-country and track teams and won numerous awards at the local and state level. After high school, he ran for the University of Michigan cross-country team while earning his degree in Wildlife Biology.
While Kris was a model of achievement and competence, he was the first to pass the recognition on to others. He was the kind of individual who won the race, doubled back and ran with his teammates to the finish line. Kris approached his entire life with a kind of contagious enthusiasm that could only inspire everyone who knew him. Kris was actively involved in church and was a man of high morals and incredible integrity. He constantly gave of himself without ever asking for anything in return.
In 1995 Kris accepted a position at Great Smoky Mountains National Park tracking wild boar and bears and began his career with the National Park Service. He served as an NPS Law Enforcement Ranger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Canyonlands National Park before arriving at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Mexico/Arizona border in 2000.
He was elected president of his class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where he graduated in June of 2002 at the top of his class and was awarded the FLETC Director's Award for outstanding achievement. He completed the 1.5 mile run in 7:09, only six seconds off the all time FLETC record.
Kris took great pride in his daily work providing for visitors' safety and protecting our Nation's heritage. As a National Park Ranger, Kris enforced Federal and State Laws while at the same time performing as an Emergency Medical Technician, Wildland and Structural Fire Fighter, and Search and Rescue Team member. He arrested violators, rendered medical care to the sick and injured, battled blazes in our nation’s wilderness, searched for lost people and provided assistance to anyone in need.
In the wake of 9/11, Kris protected his country by intercepting thousands of pounds of illegal drugs, and guarding a 30-mile stretch of the nation’s southern boundary.
Kris Eggle was shot and killed in the line of duty at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, on August 9, 2002 while pursuing members of a drug cartel hit squad who fled into the United States after committing a string of murders in Mexico.
He was 28 years old.
We miss him every day, yet his life and memory inspires all of us here to do our best. Kris would expect nothing less.
Did You Know?
Ninety-five percent of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is designated wilderness. Anyone can experience this irreplaceable resource, for in Organ Pipe Cactus NM the wilderness is to be found just a few yards off any road.