Rep. Jodey Arrington, Estacado High School honor two fallen sold

Rep. Jodey Arrington, Estacado High School honor two fallen soldiers at ceremony

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great, and Estacado High School, along with Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock) honored former students Andrew and Jose Velez Friday morning. 

Jose Velez died while deployed in Iraq in 2004.

Two years later, Andrew Velez died while deployed in Afghanistan. 

Monica Velez, the older sister of Jose and Andrew, said her brothers sacrificed everything for the love of their country. 

"I get to do the things I like freely and live freely because my brothers put that uniform on for me, and so many other men and women do," Velez said.

She said her brothers are her heroes and that will forever be represented by the flag. 

"My family's blood is enthreaded in every grain of the flag. The stars, the stripes, those military uniforms I see put on definitely represents who my family is, so I definitely hold those things close to me," Velez said.

In front of hundreds of Estacado High School students, where both Velez brothers went to school, Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington honored the courage of Andrew and Jose by speaking at a ceremony held on campus. 

He said he hopes students understand this is a reminder that freedom is not free.

"There's some things you can learn in a classroom and a textbook, but some things are better caught than taught. Today, I'm hoping they caught that there is no liberty, there are no opportunities without security and without the brave men and women who are the freedom fighters of West Texas," Rep. Arrington said.

Rep. Arrington said he plans on honoring other post nine-eleven freedom fighters who sacrificed everything for this country at high schools across 29 more counties in the coming weeks.

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