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Espinoza family remembers hero lost in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Reactions to the American troops who died in the suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport continue across the country.

One U.S. Marine born right here in Laredo was among those that fell victim to the explosions.

The Laredo native that resided in Rio Bravo made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and died a hero, but his loss has hit his family deeply.

“I’m proud of him because of what he did. As a mother, it’s hard, but he did serve. He did do what he wanted, but it’s hard.”

With tears in her eyes, Elizabeth Holguin is trying to make sense of the death of her son, twenty-year-old Marine David Lee Espinoza.

She received a phone call at 2:30 a.m. from the military to inform her that he had been taken from her family during the explosions in Afghanistan.

“He was a great kid. We never had trouble with him -- nothing. He never got in trouble. He was a great guy, a great guy, very proud of him.”

Espinoza’s stepfather, Victor Manuel Dominguez, entered his life at the age of three, but he saw him as his own.

“He was never my stepson and I was never his stepfather,” he reflected.

The young man was a graduate of LBJ High School in Laredo and was the oldest of four children

He was stationed in Jordan for two years and then transferred to Kabul just a week ago.

When asked what he would say to him, David’s stepfather had a feeling David would already know.

“I told him all his life since I met him what he meant to me so I really don’t have to say much because he knows how much I loved him.”

Holguin has a simple message to those mothers who have children deployed overseas: “Just pray, pray, and hopefully they’ll come back,” she said.

The family will be meeting with the military soon to determine how the funeral will be arranged.

Sadly, his passing fell on his sister’s thirteenth birthday.

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