20-year-old Marine lance corporal from Texas killed in Kabul airport suicide blasts

LAREDO, Texas (KTRK) -- The name of a 20-year-old Marine from Texas has emerged as one of the 13 service members who died in suicide blasts outside of the Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Lance Corporal David Lee Espinoza was among the more than 160 total people who were killed in explosions that U.S. officials believe were perpetrated by the Islamic State.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar identified Espinoza as one of the service members, tweeting on Friday that the Texan "embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service and valor."

The video above is from President Biden's nationwide address made in the wake of the Kabul bombings.



Cuellar, whose 28th Texas congressional district includes Laredo, went on to say, "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."




The congressman's press secretary, Dana Youngentob, said Pentagon representatives visited Cuellar's Washington office to inform him of Espinoza's death. Cuellar's office also received an official death notice from the Pentagon.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott invoked Espinoza's name as part of his order to lower the Texas Capitol's flags to half-staff.

"I ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor the U.S. service members killed in yesterday's horrific attack in Kabul. U.S. Marine David Lee Espinoza, a Laredo native, was one of the 13 service members killed," Abbott tweeted. "These heroes should never be forgotten."




Espinoza was among the military members who were keeping the airport at the Afghan capital secure as evacuations were being made of refugees and American citizens. Some of the other U.S. military members killed on Thursday were from California, Wyoming, California and Texas.

PHOTO GALLERY: Military members killed in Kabul attack


Among those killed, 11 were Marines while one was a Navy sailor and another was an Army solider.

Eighteen other service members were wounded.

SEE ALSO: What to know about Afghanistan's Islamic State believed to be behind Kabul airport attack
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What to know about Afghanistan's Islamic State faction, who have claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks at Kabul airport.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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