Albuquerque family honors one year without fallen brother and soldier

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Memorial Day is a day to remember the millions of people who have lost their lives while serving our country. For one Albuquerque Veteran, this year now hits close to home.

It’s been one year since retired US Army Captain Phil Velasquez, had his life changed forever. “I lost my brother, I lost my brother Master Sgt. Velasquez,” said Velasquez.

His brother, Joseph, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while stationed in Georgia. “We were hoping to get together but I guess you got to cherish those moments,” said Velasquez.

The pair did everything together growing up at only a little over a year apart. “We both served in the military for over 20 years,” said Velasquez.

Now, Phil is trying to always remember the memories. “I used to wear my bracelet that had all the names of people that I was deployed with and now I have to wear a bracelet with my brother’s name on it,” said Velasquez.

Living every day for everyone he’s lost over the years. “What would James Hub do, what would Chad Paul do or what would my brother Joseph Velasquez do,” said Velasquez. Pushing through for them.

“It’s a memory, it’s a feeling, a cold chill, it’s embracing the suck when everything is going the opposite direction that you want,” said Velasquez.

For Phil and his family, one day isn’t enough to remember Joseph. “Even though this is a time of mourning for me it’s a time to really look back and appreciate the time I had with him,” said Velasquez.

Forever changing his life and the meaning behind Memorial Day. “I hate having this but I’m now a part of the gold star families,” said Velasquez. Master Sgt. Joseph Velasquez served for 21 years in the military before his death. He’s buried at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.

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