Fallen Edinburg Marine's family has military history

Derek Hernandez Family Photo

The family of a fallen Marine from Edinburg said he came from a long line of military service.

U.S. Marines Lance Cpl. Derek Hernandez was killed in the Hemland Province of Afghanistan on Saturday.

Family members spoke to reporters on Monday morning.

They said the 20-year-old Rio Grande Valley native was a brave and outstanding person who came from a long line of military service in their family.

Family members told Action 4 News that Edinburg High School graduate had just completed two years of duty in Afghanistan.

They said Hernandez was supposed to turn 21-year-old in October.

Family members said both he and a cousin were born on the same month, day and year and had both joined the Marines together.

Members of the community have already begun to reach out to the Hernandez family.

Texas State Rep. Aaron Pea (D-Edinburg) called Hernandez a "hero" on his blog.

"I am saddened that we have lost another young man to war," Pea wrote. "My condolences and prayers go out to his family. Derek Hernandez will not be forgotten. He will be woven into the tapestry of selfless service to country that has made this city a "Hometown of Heroes."

Edinburg was recently dubbed the "Hometown of Heroes" by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Mayor Richard H. Garcia said Derek Hernandez is the fifth soldier from Edinburg to be killed in the line of duty.

"Unfortunately, as in the case of Derek Hernandez, some brave young men pay a high price for our freedom," Garcia said in a written statement.