A Lubbock woman who lost both brothers to war is asking the community to help her honor the fallen soldiers.
Monica Velez, 32, will be running in Washington, D.C.'s Marine Corp Marathon on Oct. 30 to remember her brothers Jose "Freddy" Velez and Andrew Velez.
Freddy died back in 2004 during combat in Iraq, and less than two years later in 2006 Monica's youngest brother Andrew committed suicide while in Afghanistan.
"I've picked the Marine Corp Marathon because both of my brothers' birthdays are in October. When you lose somebody you expect to have for the rest of your life it's hard when their birthdays come up. It gives me an opportunity to still celebrate my brothers," Monica said.
This will be the third time Monica will run in the Marine Corp Marathon. Here a team of 12 runners, named "GR8 3" - meaning the Great Three, for her and her two brothers - will try to raise $3,000. All proceeds will go to TAPS, a non-profit organization that helps families nationwide cope with the deaths of their fallen soldiers.
"I just really want to get the community involved. We had such a great outpouring when we lost the boys. I still go back and remember seeing the streets lined with everybody holding their signs for us, and the outpouring we got in Lubbock. I just wanted to share with other family members that didn't get warm welcomes when they had to bury their soldier," Monica said. "I just want them to know that where I come from, from Lubbock, that - that's not the case. We honor each and every one of our soldiers."
If you would like to donate money to go toward Monica's mission, you can donate at the GR8 3 donation page.
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