JROTC Instructor: Fallen Service Member Had Drive

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WESLACO – Word spread quickly Sunday about the death of Weslaco native Noe Hernandez. The Gunner's Mate 2nd Class was aboard the U.S.S. Fitzgerald when it collided with a civilian vessel.

Before his service overseas, Hernandez spent four years at Weslaco High School's JROTC program, said former instructor Santiago Galarza.

"He wanted to be involved in all the activities that we had," he said.

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Hernandez grew as a leader and attained the rank of cadet executive officer, the second highest position in JROTC, according to his instructor.

Hernandez put his service before his plans to go to college, said Galarza. He recalled the moment the two discussed plans after graduation.

"He said something I still remember," said Galarza. "I want to do something for the country, and then I do something for myself."

Hernandez graduated from Weslaco High School in 2009.

"It's like losing a family member," said Galarza.


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