“My brothers were like my soul mates...”

Corporal José “Freddy” Velez joined the U.S. Army when he was 18 and deployed to Iraq. Two years later, his brother, Specialist Andrew Velez, enlisted and was sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Their older sister, Monica, came to StoryCorps with her fiancé, Christopher Hernandez, to remember them.

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Corporal José “Freddy” Velez was killed in action in Iraq. He was 23 years old and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for outstanding service.

Specialist Andrew Velez was 22 when he died in Afghanistan. Before he died, he received the Army Commendation Medal.

Recorded in Austin, Texas
Music Info: The Mute Girl by Yann Tiersen from the Album The Waltz Of The Monsters/ Cascade Street.
Produced by Yasmina Guerda
Facilitated by Matt Herman
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Click here for the transcript.
In partnership with
The Homecoming Project