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Gold Star Family Loses Second Brother to War, Working to Save Lives of Others

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -

It's a heartbreaking tragedy. A Midland family has lost two brothers to war.

One was killed in combat in 2004. The other died two weeks ago today after a years-long battle with PTSD.

Now, this Gold Star family is using this hardship to save lives.

"We cared about my brother. We loved my brother. The fact that we couldn't save him is giving us this extra push to save somebody else," said Angel Munoz, who lost both her brothers to war.

On September 4, U.S. Marine Sgt. Jeremy Arsiaga lost the years-long battle suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"He was always picking on all of us. That's the way he showed his love for us. So we didn't know. We really didn't know," said Munoz about her brother, Jeremy.

Jeremy's older brother, Army Spc. Robert Arsiaga, was killed in combat in 2004. He served during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The family says Robert's death postponed Jeremy's deployment for a year. When he made it overseas, he was there four months before he was medically discharged.

"There are signs. There are triggers. There are things that set people off to where they just give up, and we're trying to prevent that. Even if we save one or two people," said Munoz.

Angel says 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

"That's 8,030 lives. Just veterans alone," she added.

This Gold Star family, having experienced the tragic effects of PTSD first-hand, is working to gather resources so they can help those who are contemplating suicide.

They say, maybe with some work, that number will go down to 21 or even fewer.

"It's not just for soldiers and veterans. That's my main purpose, but it's to also help other people like us that have struggled or felt like there was no other way out, or there was no hope," said Munoz.

The family will participate in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for suicide prevention in October. They've already received overwhelming support from multiple organizations and businesses interested in their efforts.

Angel says she plans to create an organization for their cause, and maybe write a book to celebrate the lives of her two brothers.

Jeremy leaves behind four children.

We've posted more information about the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, and contact information for the family if you recommend any more helpful resources for those suffering from PTSD, click here.

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