Palm Springs veterans are stepping up to aid the family of a Marine from Indio who was killed last week in Afghanistan.
A spokesperson from Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 said Monday all donations received this week at a VillageFest booth staffed by members of Post 519 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 66 will be given to the family of Cpl. Hunter Lopez. The 22-year-old was one of three Southern California Marines, including two from Riverside County, who were among 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26.
Lopez was the son of Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff’s Capt. Herman Lopez of Indio. Multiple efforts are underway throughout the Coachella Valley to aid the family while tributes continue to pour in.
“We mourn the death of Hunter, who answered the call to serve, defend and protect our nation,” read a statement from the Riverside Sheriff’s Association. “Like his parents who serve our community, being a Marine to Hunter wasn’t a job; it was a calling.”
Association officials said Lopez was a Riverside County sheriff’s Explorer Scout with the Palm Desert Station from September 2014 to August 2017.
“Hunter … planned on becoming a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy after returning from his current deployment,” the statement continued. “Today the entire law enforcement community stands with the Lopez family, friends, fellow Marines and all who loved him, praying for comfort, peace.”
Desert Sands Unified School District also issued a statement, saying Lopez was “a beloved student of our schools.” Lopez attended La Quinta High School.
Indio officials said they are hoping to honor Lopez with a plaque on the Wall of Heroes and a soldier banner at Veterans Park.
Donations: The Lopez family suggested that donations in honor of Cpl. Lopez be made to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation. Information on how to donate to the family can be found here.