MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - A Florida Highway Patrol trooper received a special send-off into retirement. Not only did he survive decades on duty, but he also beat a serious health threat.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers flooded Miami Gardens Thursday in honor of Eugene Boykins, who recently retired after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“It’s bittersweet,” Boykins said.
It was an emotional morning for former Master Trooper Boykins who, after nearly 31 years of service, is hanging up his uniform.
With sirens blaring, his colleagues came together and set up a parade outside his home to honor his work in the community.
“It’s the least that we could do, honestly,” said FHP Lt. Alex Camacho, “recognizing his service, just showing him that we are grateful for mentoring some of our younger guys.”
“I’m going to miss those guys, but it’s time for me to move on,” Boykins said.
With tears in his eyes, Boykins explained that despite more than three decades with FHP, he wasn’t ready to retire.
His recent medical diagnosis made that call for him.
“The last couple of months, I’ve been through a lot with the brain tumor,” he said.
“The brain surgery messed up his eye vision, which required an eye surgery after that, which ultimately ended his career,” said Camacho. “He wasn’t ready to retire. He wanted to continue serving.”
As a symbol of appreciation from his fellow troopers, Boykins was given a flag with his sergeant badge and stripes.
“Thank you,” he said.
Miami Gardens Commissioner Oliver Gilbert was also there with a proclamation that Feb. 25 be recognized as Master Trooper Eugene Boykins Day.
To officially kick off his retirement, Boykins got his final radio call: “Eugene on behalf of your FHP family, we wish you the very best in your retirement. We love you, and we will miss you.”
It was a heartfelt ending to a touching tribute, and a day Boykins will surely never forget.
“I appreciate every last one of them and the other agencies too,” he said. “I appreciate them too.”
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