As the horrors of the past two weeks in Afghanistan unfolded, the media coverage of America's catastrophic withdrawal from Kabul took a toll not only on their viewers, but also on those reporting the stories- as was the case with Telemundo anchor Aranxta Loizaga.
In a heart wrenching interview with Gold Star mother Coral Briseño, Loizaga -who is married to a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan- led her to share the moment when her fallen son, Cpl. Humberto Sánchez, decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, as well as his love for the nation for which he sacrificed his life.
LOIZAGA: Could you describe the moment when your son said to you: “Mom, I want to be part of the armed forces (of the United States)”? What did you feel when your son told you of his desire to be a member of our armed forces?
BRISEÑO: When he was in high school I told him that he was going down the wrong path, and I always encouraged him to join the U.S. armed forces, and he would say to me: “Do you want me to die? To get killed? And I´d say, “no, I know you´re going to do good.” So he´d always say no. But one day he came back from school, he was just about to graduate, and he said, “Mom, do you have something to do at 4?” And I said, “no”. And he said, “can you come to an appointment with me?” And I said, “What kind of an appointment? What are we going to do? And he said, “I enlisted in the United States Marines, and since I am a minor, they´re asking you to sign and can you come? I thought about it. I thought about it, and then I said, this is what I asked him (to do) – this was it.” And he said, “Mom, I want you to be proud of me”.
LOIZAGA: Ms. Coral Briseño, you are proud of your son but so are we. We are obviously grateful for Humberto Sánchez ´sacrifice. We will honor him here. Thank you for your time and we grieve with you. We´ll be back with more after the break.
The incredibly courageous tale of how much Humberto wanted his mother to be proud of him brought tears to Loizaga – and to all of us grieving for the loss of 13 brave, young servicemen at Kabul - who said to Briseño: "...you are proud of your son but so are we. We are obviously grateful for (Cpl. Sánchez') sacrifice. We will honor him here...we grieve with you."
These kids were the best of us. Thank you Telemundo for honoring Cpl. Sánchez. RIP.