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Fallen soldier remembered by his family

An Army unit based in Okaloosa County has lost two soldiers in less than a week.

Staff Sergeants Richard Vazquez and Alex Viola were members of the 7th Special Forces Group.
They were both killed by improvised explosive devices while on patrol in Afghanistan.
28-year-old, Staff Sergeant Richard Vazquez, had dedicated his life to serving our country.

Channel 3's Christina Leavenworth has more from his family members.

Vazquez was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, but he was originally from Texas. Through the help of our sister station in San Antonio, we were able to talk to some of his family members.


Pablo Vazquez: "He liked to be in the Army. He liked to serve the United States of America."

Army Staff Sergeant Richard Vazquez was the big brother that 8-year-old, Pablo, always looked up to.

Pablo Vazquez: "He was nice he was kind."

Richard was killed in Afghanistan after his unit was hit by an improvised explosive device.
His family says he had already done three tours of duty.

Isabel Vazquez: "He died for a good cause even though I wish he could still be here."

Richard's sister, Isabel says he was born in Louisiana, but the family moved to Texas.
Joining the military was a life long dream for him. He joined right after high school

Isabel Vazquez: "I know that he's a hero to a lot of people he inspired a lot of people."

...including Pablo.

Pablo Vazquez: "Whenever he went in the army he died so I'm going to take his place one day whenever I grow up."

That's still many years away, but his brother and sister say no matter how much time passes, Richard will never be forgotten.

Isabel: "I'm going to treasure every moment that I had with him because I know that I'm not going to get it back until the day god takes us."

Richard's family says they are planning to bury him in Louisiana.
Reporting in the studio, Christina Leavenworth, Channel 3 News.