20-year-old Marine from Texas among service members killed in Kabul airport attack, officials say

David Espinoza, 20, of Laredo, Texas
David Espinoza, 20, of Laredo, Texas (Courtesy City of Laredo)

A U.S. Marine from Texas was among the service members killed in Thursday’s Afghanistan airport attack, officials said.

David Espinoza, 20, of Laredo, Texas was among the nearly 200 people killed in the bombing at or near Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate, where U.S. Marines and other service members had been conducting security checks.

“He was just brave enough to go do what he wanted and to help out people. That’s who he was, he was just perfect,” Holguin told the Laredo Morning Times.

Espinoza joined the military after graduating high school in 2019.

“He was one of our best and brightest students,” L.B.Johnson High School Principal Armando Salazar said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful for his service and ultimate sacrifice for our nation. It is a very sad reminder of the great sacrifice that our service men and women perform for our country.”

Friday morning, the school observed a moment of silence as “Taps” was played throughout the campus. To honor his memory, the school will display his photograph on campus.

The Laredo Police Department shared a photo of their flags flying half-staff, thanking Espinoza for his service.

“Our thoughts and prayers will remain with the family of United States Fallen Marine, David L. Espinoza, as well as to his friends and fellow Marines. Semper Fi,” the department wrote in a post on Facebook.

“David Espinoza, a Laredo native Marine killed in Afghanistan, embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service, and valor,” wrote U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents Texas’ 28th congressional district, in a Friday Facebook post.

“I mourn him and all the fallen heroes in Afghanistan,” Cuellar continued. “My heart goes out to the Espinoza family in this extremely difficult time. The brave never die. Mr. Espinoza is a hero.”

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday ordered Texas flags to be flown at half-staff as a sign of respect for the U.S. service members who have died since the Thursday suicide blast outside the gates of the Kabul airport. Flags will remain at half-staff through sunset on Monday, Aug. 30.

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.