Texas family loses both sons to war

July 27th, 2006  
Duty Honor Country

Topic: Texas family loses both sons to war

LUBBOCK, Texas - Less than two years ago, Roy Velez got the worst news a father could get: His oldest son was dead, killed during combat in Iraq.

his week, his pain only deepened with news that his youngest son had died in Afganistan. Military officials notified the Velez family Tuesday of the death of Army Spc. Andrew Velez, 22. His brother, Army Cpl. Jose A. Velez, 23, died in November 2004 in Fallujah when his unit came under fire while clearing an enemy stronghold.

"I can't be angry. I feel like my heart's been pulled out," Roy Velez said Tuesday. "We've done what the Lord allowed us to do for our country."
The family lost its only sons; there is one daughter.

The military does not have a regulation prohibiting the deployment of family members at the same time. But families can request that relatives return home if one is killed or disabled.

After his brother's death, the military gave Andrew Velez the option of not returning to combat, Roy Velez said. But Andrew Velez told his father he wanted to return to fight, his father said.

"You always do it for your buddy next to you," Roy Velez recalled his younger son saying.

Roy Velez last talked to Andrew Velez on the phone Saturday. His son told him he'd had "six close calls" as they tracked Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and that he was tired.
He was scheduled to return for 10 days of leave during the last week of August. "He said, 'Daddy, I'll see you in August,'" Roy Velez said.

Andrew Velez joined the Army about five years ago. He graduated in 2002 from Estacado High School in Lubbock. During his school years, he wrestled, played football and basketball and ran track. He also loved playing golf.

His older brother, Jose, joined the Army after graduating from the same high school in 2000 and hoped to attend medical school one day. He played football and was an honor student.

After his death, Jose Velez was awarded two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and a Silver Star. But burglars stole them all from his parents' home in June.

On Monday, the medals were replaced, thanks to the assistance of U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Roy Velez said. "And today at 12:30 I learned my other son was killed in action," he said.

Andrew Velez's survivors include his wife, Veronica Velez; a daughter, Jasmine Jade, 5; and two sons, Jordan Davis, 3, and Jacob Andrew, 2.
July 27th, 2006  
God bless the both. And if there is anyway for me to let the parents know that I give them my deepest thanks for what their two sons did.
July 27th, 2006  
May be God bless their souls.
July 27th, 2006  
How sad!! God bless this family. My thoughts and prayers are with them!
July 27th, 2006  
These are certainly great losses to this family. Their sons died as heroes doing what they chose to do by answering our country's call to duty. We all owe them a huge measure of gratitude and may God be with them.
July 27th, 2006  
damn, what greater sacrafice can a parent give. As a parent, my heart goes out to them
July 27th, 2006  
Rob Henderson
^ Correct that. What greater sacrifice can anyone give? Sure, the parents lost their child, but the children lost their father, the wife lost her husband. The brother lost a brother, the best friends lost a friend. It is much, MUCH more than just the parents. There are other deep connections. May God bless all connected to any loved ones of these boys. May God bless all.
July 27th, 2006  
This family represents all that is good in America. I believe the two boys are reunited now but I'd much rather we still had them here. We are losing the cream of society but that is always the way it is in time of war. The rats leave the ship and the brave stand and fight.
July 27th, 2006  
Originally Posted by C/1Lt Henderson
What greater sacrifice can anyone give? Sure, the parents lost their child, but the children lost their father.
hear hear, thats what i meant. May God comfort all connected to these fine young men.
July 29th, 2006  
My heart goes out to the family, such a sad loss.

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