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District 28 US Congressman Henry Cuellar issued a statement last week in commemoration of Laredo native Lance Corporal David Espinoza, a member of the US Marine Corps who was killed in the two terrorist bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August.
Cuellar has recommended that Espinoza be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
“Espinoza embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service, and valor,” Rep. Cuellar said. “When he joined the military after high school, he did so with the intention of protecting our nation and demonstrating his selfless acts of service. I mourn him and all the fallen heroes in Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the Espinoza family in this extremely difficult time. The brave never die. Lance Corporal Espinoza is a hero.”
Espinoza was a June 2019 graduate of Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) High School in Laredo. He is survived by his brother, mother, Elizabeth Holguin, and stepfather.
Rep. Cuellar is inviting South Texans to join him in saluting the fallen Marine after the serviceman’s body is returned to Laredo on Friday, Sept. 10. Espinoza will be carried to his place of rest Sunday.
While the return at Laredo International Airport will be an event closed to the public, area residents will have an opportunity to pay their respects to the family Saturday and attend a military procession Sunday, Sept. 13, from LBJ High School to the City of Laredo Cemetery, an event that includes honors and a funeral mass.
The congressman has been joined by 216 cosponsors in pushing for passage of legislation that awards the Congressional Gold Medal to 13 service members who were killed in the United States’ final withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August.
The fallen service members will join a group of 173 institutions and people who have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal throughout the history of the United States. The award is ranked as the highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions to the country.