Since 2003, ten graduates of high schools in Chula Vista have been killed fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
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Many of their parents told 10News they can trace their sons decision to join the military to Sept. 11, 2001.
Alejandro Dominguez turned 18-years-old the day passenger jets were flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
We were preparing the hall party for him, remembered his father, Antonio Dominguez. We started looking at the T.V., and (he said,) Dad, these guys just destroyed my birthday.
Antonio said he doesnt believe his son would have signed up for the military if not for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Antonio remembers the day his son told him he'd joined the Army.
I told him, Do you know there's a war going on?
He said, Yes, dad, and I'm going.
What about your mom? Don't worry about me. What about your mom?
And (Alejandro) said, She will understand.
Alejandro Dominguez was 24 when he died during his second tour of duty. He served one tour in Afghanistan, and was killed by a road-side bomb in Iraq.
Domiquez is one of ten fallen troops honored by the Sweetwater Union High School District in a memorial Tuesday night at East Lake High School.
The district said the idea for a memorial first started when the sons of two district employees were killed in action.
As the district started to research the subject, officials realized eight other former students from high schools in the Chula Vista area had also been killed in action.
Michael Martinez graduated from East Lake High School in 2000. He was also 24-years-old when he was killed by a road-side bomb during his second tour of duty in Iraq.
It takes special young men and women to give up their life for people that they don't even know, said Armida Martinez, the soldiers mother.
Martinez said her son is part of a generation of young people who saw their country under attack on Sept. 11, and did something about it.
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