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Valley Man Honors Fallen Hero

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MERCEDES – Carrying a backpack weighing about 35 pounds, Air Force Staff Sergeant Israel Garza pounded the pavement in a six-mile run to honor his friend Michael Cinco.

A year ago Cinco, an Air Force Staff Sergeant, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

“It's the ultimate sacrifice. They gave away what many people wouldn't so we could have this, “ said Garza. “We always tell each other today is not a day of mourning, today is a day of celebrating the life.”

Garza’s unit, which is stationed in Georgia, planned on remembering Cinco with a run.

With Garza headed home for the holidays, Garza decided to complete his run in Cinco’s home town of Mercedes.

It was a way to honor the Valley native with Cinco’s family on hand.

“I feel proud of my son,” said Cinco’s father Jose Horacio Cinco. “I feel sad, but I feel proud of my son. I’m glad they came. I’m glad this guy came.”

“It meant a lot to me knowing his mom and dad could be out here,” said Garza.

For those who couldn’t attend the run, Garza shared his run on social media by recording himself during the six-mile trek. 

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