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‘I’m just going to bring him along with every footstep that I take.’ Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez’s brother opens up about sibling’s life and final moments

The brother of fallen U.S. Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez opened up for the first time about his older brother's tragic death in Afghanistan. 

18-year-old Owen Lopez sat down for a one-on-one interview with Marine veteran and firearm training expert, Travis Haley, to share his personal account of what Hunter Lopez endured when terrorists attacked an airport he and other U.S. service members were protecting in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26.

September would have marked a happy homecoming for Corporal Hunter Lopez after a 5 month deployment to the Middle East.

Owen Lopez said Hunter had planned to “do shooting instructing over in California with a couple other deputies out there that he knew.“

A few days after the terrorist attack on the Kabul airport, the Lopez family was forever changed.

Owen Lopez said he came home after enlisting in the Army and saw two Marines come up and knock on the front door to deliver the tragic news about their beloved Hunter.

The Lopez family was left in the dark for a couple days as to what exactly had happened to him until a friend and fellow Marine who endured the attack alongside Hunter gave them some closure.

Owen Lopez said he and his family learned Hunter was "actually trying to save two little girls in the crowd" of "10,000 people" when the blasts took place.

The younger Lopez added that Hunter's friend told his family "he went to go grab them" and "that it took him almost an hour to get the two little girls out.”

While Hunter and his fellow Marine were moving the two young girls to safety, the situation outside the airport took a turn for the worse.

Owen Lopez said what his brother and fellow Marine initially thought were flashbangs, were actually two suicide bombings that sent a cloud of dust and debris around everyone in the area. 

That was the last time Hunter Lopez was seen by his friend.   

Some other Marines who saw the blast and went to the scene of the terrorist attack to see if they could help anyone in need, contacted the Lopez family and shared with them what they experienced.

They told the Lopez family they had found Hunter severely wounded and took him back to a military compound, where he got treatment, but later succumbed to his injuries.  

Hunter made the ultimate sacrifice serving his country, and in doing so, inspired his younger brother to fulfill more than just his own dreams of serving in the Army.

Owen Lopez said some of the last communication he had with his late brother was about him joining the military, and added Hunter wanted him to "go be a ranger because he thought I would get better training and I’d get more out of Ranger Battalion than I would out of the Marine Corps."

He also expressed gratitude for one of the last exchanges he had with his older brother, and noted "thankfully Hunter told me most of his plans that he was going to do in the future so I’ll carry those out."

Owen Lopez said he pans to have a military career followed by a stint in law enforcement, after which he plans to "get into the same industry" Hunter had intended to join himself -- firearm instruction.

The younger Lopez also intends to "bring him {Hunter} along with every footstep that I take.”

Stay with News Channel 3 for more developments.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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