Laredo native killed in Afghan airport blast; Abbott orders flags flown at half-staff

Marine David Espinoza, 20, was among 13 U.S. service members killed in twin explosions in Kabul

LAREDO, Texas – A Marine from Laredo was among 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bomb attack Thursday at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

David Espinoza, 20, was a June 2019 graduate of Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Laredo.

“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,” said Elizabeth Holguin, the fallen Marine’s mother.

Espinoza’s stepfather, Victor Manuel Dominguez, who helped raise him since he was three, said he always treated David as one of his own.

“He was never my stepson and I was never his stepfather,” Dominguez said. “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.”

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Laredo, released a statement saying that he is mourning the loss of a hometown hero.

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

To honor the U.S. service members killed in the attack, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday ordered Texas flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff through sunset on Monday.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.