Lubbock Family Prepares to Bury Soldier Killed in Iraq - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/15/04

Lubbock Family Prepares to Bury Soldier Killed in Iraq

Roy Velez last heard from his son one week ago Saturday. In one week, Roy would never hear from him again. A family friend tells NewsChannel 11 Freddy Velez was in a fox hole with other soldiers when insurgents picked up a grenade they had just thrown back into the fox hole. That happened Saturday. Freddy leaves behind his family, a wife and friends who remember him all too well.

23-year-old Jose "Freddy" Velez graduated from Estacado High School about six years ago. Coach Robert Romero used to coach Freddy in football and wrestling. "Freddy is one of those type of the guys you want to get to know. He was a good leader and hard worker," said Romero.

Freddy graduated with honors, he was in the medical magnet program. His teacher Janet Copeland says he wanted to study medicine after high school. "When you think of Freddy, you always think of him being happy. He was a student that every teacher dreams of. He would turn in all his assignments on time, come in and greet," said Copeland.

On Saturday, Freddy was killed by insurgents during combat in Fallujah. "My first thought was that I had just prayed for them this morning and my prayers go out to the family and wife. She was in classes with him," said Copeland.

Freddy has two brothers in the army. His younger brother, Andrew, is fighting in Iraq. But today, he's escorting his brother's body home to Lubbock.

Freddy was in the army for five years. His wife of three years lives in Killeen. They have no children. Resthaven is handling funeral arrangements. A date for the funeral has not been set.

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