David Lee Espinoza, a 20-year-old Marine from Laredo, Texas, was one of the 13 American troops killed in a suicide bombing that took place at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said.
The city of Laredo, in a statement, thanked Espinoza for his service to the country and to the state. “Thank you for your service to the United States of America and Laredo. Your acts of courage and bravery will always be remembered in our community,” USA Today reported.
The office of U.S Rep. Henry Cuellar, R-Texas, also confirmed the 20-year-old marine’s death. “Mr. Espinoza, a Laredo Marine killed in Afghanistan, embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service, and valor. 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,” Cuellar said in a statement.
Cuellar also said that he mourns for 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.”
Espinoza was born in Lorado and grew up in Rio Bravo, according to reports by KGNS-TV. He went to Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Laredo.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott issued an order for flags in the state to be flown at half-staff until the sunset on Monday, honoring Espinoza and other military members who were killed in the deadly attack claimed by the Islamic State.
The death toll from the bombing includes 11 U.S Marines, a Navy Hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials confirmed.
At least 18 U.S service members were also injured. The bombing was considered the third deadliest attack for the American Forces since August of 2011.
The suicide attack at the Kabul airport came as the evacuation of Americans and all their allies from Afghanistan continued. The target date for withdrawal from Afghanistan is until Aug. 31.