As Action 4 News first reported the death of a third U.S Army soldier killed overseas, within in a two-week period, Commander Ruben Cordova of America TMs Last Patrol said he was in disbelief.
We were hoping it was just a false alarm," Cordova said. Tuesday, he visited the Zermeo home in Cameron Park to offer condolences and assistance on behalf of all Rio Grande Valley veterans.
"It hurts - it's a very hurtful situation, but we're ready and willing to do whatever we need for the families, Cordova said. Brownsville city officials also visited the family Tuesday, and Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. called to give his condolences. Lt. Zermeo's older brother, Joaquin Zermeo said the family had been constantly surrounded by loved ones, who spent the day telling stories of the soldier. Cantu said that at this point the only thing the family in the Valley can do, is stay united and wait.
"The wife is number one in the eyes of the military, Cordova said, so they will have to go through the wife for everything, so hopefully there will be some type of coordination between them." Joaquin Zermeo said his family has been restless as they deal with their grief, but said they are trying to accept the young soldier's death, without questioning it. Also a priest, the older brother said all humans make choices, and Lt. Zermeo made the brave choice to serve his country, and ultimately died defending it. Lt. Zermeo now joins the ranks of Sgt. Rudy Rodriguez of Weslaco and Sgt. Esteban Altamirano, as one of the Valley's fallen heroes.
"We're all brothers, Cantu said.