Marine saves unit by standing on land mine - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Lake Worth Marine saves unit by standing on land mine

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LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - The family of 19-year-old Lance Corporal Jose Hernandez was understandably grief stricken Wednesday night.

But they found some solace by his last moments alive when he committed an act of heroism.

Hernandez was a member of the ROTC at Lake Worth High School who joined the Marines right after graduation in 2009.

After going through basic training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, he shipped off to Afghanistan in August.

Hernandez was on foot patrol with his unit Tuesday in the Helmand province in Afghanistan when all of the sudden he stepped on a land mine.

What this Marine did next, his sisters say, is nothing short of heroism.

"He stepped on the mine and stood there until everyone evacuated. In other words, he sacrificed himself for everyone else," said sister Aronica Nava.

The shrapnel from the explosion killed Hernandez instantly. No one else in his unit was injured.

"He always wanted to make sure everybody was safe, so when we heard he did this it sounded just like him because that's what he always wanted to do," said sister Yollanda Morales.

Friends from Lake Worth High stopped by to console the family and light candles in his memory next to photos of Hernandez and his marine dress hat.

Ironically, Hernandez told his sisters the thing he feared the most about war was stepping on a land mine.

Relatives say he had so much to live for. Hernandez had just bought a BMW, his pride and joy, before heading to Afghanistan.

They say he had lots of plans for life after duty.

Hernandez was about to turn 20 on December 26.

Already at Lake Worth High School, teachers are planning on putting his name on a war memorial wall.

He will be buried in Colorado where his mother lives.

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