I met him, saw him, loved him when he was only a day old.  He grew ahead of his two younger brothers, spunky and so smart.  So serious he was, and studious.  I watched in ignorant awe as he and his brothers and their many friends mastered the digital intricacies of computer games.  In high school he was accepted by the Microsoft Corporation as a master gamer.  He sailed through algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus.  On our senior class trip to Mexico´s Yucatan Maya ruins he took his calculus homework.  He excelled at the University of Washington earning a degree as a civil engineer.  He was everything I ever wanted to be.  My grandson.  We were so proud after he joined the US Army, graduated from OCS as a Second Lieutenant and sweated with him as he finished the elite Army Ranger training.  Last Thursday as I finished packing my bags to return to Honduras from Seattle we learned that he had been killed in action in Afghanistan.  My daughter ran screaming down to where I was: He’s dead! Travis has been killed!  May 23, 2012: a date seared into my brain, into my family´s collective mind.  Memorial Day is this weekend.  My family has sent our men into WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War.  Travis was our first casualty.  The pain is overwhelming.  My heart is shattered.

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About Fortunato Velasquez

Fortunato Velasquez received his Registered Nurse's license from the State of California during the month that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. On February 15, 2020, my friend and the director of the Fundación Señor San José in La Paz, La Paz, Honduras, Sister Edith Suazo Fernandez died at the age of 47. This a video of her funeral.

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