Spc. Andrew Velez, 22, of Lubbock, Texas, died on July 25 in Sharona, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related injury.  Velez was assigned to the Corps Support Battalion, Theater Support Command, Fort Irwin, Calif. Andrew joined the U.S. Army in 2002 after completing his GED and his wife had their third child. Andrew deployed to Iraq in 2003. In 2004, Andrew’s older brother, Cpl. Jose “Freddy” Velez was killed under enemy fire and Andrew escorted his body home. Then, Andrew deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and signed on for six more years of service. He was survived by his wife, Veronica, daughter Jasmine, sons, Jordan and Jacob, his father, Roy Velez, and sister, Monica Velez.

“You always do it for your buddy next to you,” Roy Velez said about his son’s service.

The Travis Manion Foundation honored Spc. Andrew Velez with a Challenge Grant on Oct. 29, 2011, when Monica Velez, Andrew’s sister, ran in the Marine Corps Marathon to celebrate the lives of her brothers Andrew and Freddy.  Their father, Roy Velez was able to accompany Monica to honor Andrew and Freddy and see Monica finish the marathon.

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