There will be a special early-morning hike on Saturday morning to pay tribute to the late Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez.
He was among 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan last year.
“He was always, you know, just working to better himself. So he wouldn’t really settle for anything less than than perfection,” said his father Herman Lopez.
Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez was a Coachella Valley native who loved to serve. “He just wanted to be as good as he could be. He wanted to be reliable and he wanted to be well trained. Not only for himself, but for his teams and his fellow Marines,” Herman explained.
His parents told News Channel 3’s Samantha Lomibao he was the type of person who would never give up. “He’d always say full send all the time. All the time. There was never ever a middle. It was always the extreme always, full send always,” said his mother Alicia.
August 26th will mark one year since Lopez was killed in the Afghanistan terrorist attack. And to honor the fallen hero, people will be taking to the Bear Creek trailhead in La Quinta. It’s where Lopez went on his last hike before he was deployed. “The last hike that Hunter, and Owen, his brother, and I went on was at Bear Creek Trail,” said his father Herman.
“His friends, some of his fellow Marines that were out there in Afghanistan with him are going to come out and they plan to do the long 12 mile hike one,” Alicia explained.
It’s all part of a mission to complete 100 hikes across America, paying tribute to the 13 fallen heroes who were killed in last year’s attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“The amount of inspiration that these young men and women can still give just by understanding their story and their heroic acts on that day, it’s been a very inspirational journey,” said hike organized Beau McCarter.
McCarter organized hikes for the families and friends of each the 13 fallen heroes. Lopez’s parents said this hike is a way of paying it forward- the way Hunter would have wanted it. “He’s kind of like in my ear, like, you need to get this done, you need to do this, you need to do that,” his mother Alicia said, “I’m just honored that I’m his mom, you know. So I figure I just keep pushing forward.”
“It gives us, I guess, the energy and the willpower to do them and understand you know. Because we know that if he was still around, he’d be doing good things. And so all we can do is keep doing that in his name,” Herman said.
Anyone is welcome to join the hike in honor of Corporal Lopez here at Bear Creek Trail in La Quinta at 5am.