Marine from Laredo, Texas, among those killed in Afghanistan airport blasts

Top Stories

U.S. Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20, was among 13 servicemembers killed in Afghanistan during attacks at the airport on Thursday, officials confirmed Friday. (Photo Courtesy of the City of Laredo)

{EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated. No additional servicemembers from Laredo, Texas, were killed in the Aug. 26 blast]

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A South Texas Marine from the border city of Laredo was among the 13 service members killed on Thursday in Afghanistan at blasts at the Kabul airport, South Texas leaders told Border Report on Friday.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat whose hometown is Laredo, confirmed on Friday morning during a call with media from Washington, D.C., that David Lee Espinoza, a 20-year-old U.S. Marine from Laredo was among those killed on Thursday in Kabul. Cuellar confirmed earlier reports from KGNS-TV.

“You are correct about this information. We will be talking to the family. We will be providing the support. I’ve done this before when we lost another soldier in South Laredo. And it’s one of the most difficult things as a member of Congress that I’ve done to talk to a grieving mother, brothers, sisters, a dad, and I will do that personally and provide all the support. I have been talking to the veterans’ groups and we will be doing everything we can to help,” Cuellar said.

“Mr. Espinoza embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service, and valor,” Cuellar said in a statement. “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. Mr. Espinoza is a hero.”

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz told Border Report that he has ordered all U.S. flags to fly half-staff in the city on behalf of Espinoza, who lived in a small enclave in Webb County called Rio Bravo. He was a graduate of LBJ High School.

“We just learned that this morning. Obviously, our condolences go to the friends and family and loved ones,” Saenz said. “That saddens us. Our condolences and prayers to the family.”

“The fact that he’s from Laredo and died in foreign lands in Afghanistan in obviously a very dangerous situation that cost his life,” Saenz said.

Thirteen service members were among 170 people killed in the airport attacks on Thursday. At least 200 people were wounded.

On Friday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff due to the attacks, which he called “an absolute tragedy.”

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

El Paso Correspondent Latest Stories

More Julian Resendiz

South Texas Correspondent Latest Stories

More Sandra Sanchez

California Correspondent Latest Stories

More Salvador Rivera

Border Report Correspondents' Stories

Latest Stories

Washington D.C.

More Washington D.C.

Don't Miss

borderlogo

About Border Report

The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.