Family, friends, Irvin HS community come together for fallen U.S. Navy sailor

Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez is one of nine sailors missing from the ship.

Family and friends gathered at Student Memorial Park near Irvin High School to release red white and blue balloons for the fallen U.S Navy sailor.

Some wrote messages of gratitude for his nearly 20 years of service to our country.

Friends of Lopez said he grew up in the northeast and graduated from Irvin High School in 1997.

His positive attitude earned him a large group of friends who showed up Thursday including some of his shipmates aboard the USS John S. McCain.

Lopez was one of the missing sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain when the guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel crashed near Singapore.

His wrestling coach from Irvin High School also showed up and talked about the brotherhood Lopez created for his teammates.

“They were telling his daughters they are the smile on them that he had and that's the first thing that comes to my mind is his smile, not necessarily the stud but he was the heart,” said Karl Queen wrestling coach.

Friends of Lopez said he was just a few months away from retiring and he had plans to come back home to El Paso.

Lopez will be laid to rest Friday at Fort Bliss in a private ceremony.

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