El Paso Sturdy — How soccer and friendship helped a ladies’ team heal from a mass capturing

El Paso Sturdy — How soccer and friendship helped a ladies’ team heal from a mass capturing

FOURTEEN DAYS AFTER probably the most horrifying second of their lives, the gamers of El Paso Fusion stood on knowledgeable soccer pitch. That they had gathered of their uniforms — greater than a dozen ladies, ages 9 to 11 — at Southwest College Park to be honored by El Paso Locomotive earlier than the United Soccer League team’s Saturday night time house sport in opposition to Tacoma. Temperatures that Aug. 17 had damaged 100 levels all through West Texas, and it was nonetheless within the excessive 90s because the prematch ceremonies started.

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Onto the sector they got here, Madison McGuire and Emylee Calvillo and their teammates and fogeys, waving El Paso Sturdy banners, lining up with their backs to the flag past the center-field fence of this transformed minor league baseball stadium, going through the group as a preteen singer took the mic to carry out the nationwide anthem.

Two weeks earlier, a person with a semi-automatic rifle and greater than 1,000 rounds of ammunition had pushed an estimated 10 hours to a Walmart in El Paso, Retailer #2201 close to the Cielo Vista Mall. There, simply exterior the entrance doorways, these gamers and coaches of EP Fusion had been promoting chilly drinks and chicharrones to boost cash for the team’s journey to an out-of-state soccer tourney. The person with the rifle was nonetheless within the car parking zone when he began firing his weapon — not indiscriminately, not at simply anybody, however focusing on males, girls and youngsters who, in his eyes, seemed Hispanic. Like these ladies and their households and their coaches.

Twenty-three individuals had been killed within the shooter’s assault. The women now assembling on the pitch knew the lifeless. They knew the wounded. That they had heard and seen a lot — and within the wake of the phobia round them, they’d proven grit and resilience as a team. The hope was that, on this night time, they might learn how a lot their metropolis cared about them.

The nationwide anthem had begun. The women positioned their proper arms over their hearts.

Their newest horror was simply seconds away.

THE EL PASO STRONG sticker on the again of his white Passat merely hinted on the torment the occasions of Aug. Three had put Benny McGuire and his household by. Nonetheless, “it is a good metropolis, — it is a rising metropolis,” he says. “With rising comes extra alternatives for everyone.”

Earlier than changing into daughter Madison’s soccer coach, he had been born on this similar metropolis 36 years in the past, when his dad and mom gave him the identify Bernardo. It did not take. So this youngest of 5 grew to become Benny, drafted into the household development enterprise contemporary out of highschool. He’d be a subject supervisor, overseeing the corporate’s tasks on the bottom at Fort Bliss, rubbing shoulders with the brass and warming to their tales of navy life. However the indignities of labor because the youngest sibling by no means went away. “You get pushed apart on issues,” he says. “They get to do issues, and also you … simply sit again and wait on your flip.” He’d had sufficient. He’d left the enterprise within the spring earlier than the assault.

Caring for his getting old dad and mom may sound like a full-time job. They’d moved into the again bed room of his home on Strata Rock within the far east part of El Paso, the place the whole lot was booming and new. He drove his mom to dialysis 3 times per week and helped each his dad and mom with their Kind 2 diabetes. “After I was younger, I used to be a handful,” Benny says. “Now my dad and mom are outdated, so they are a handful. They’ve sweet and cookies they should not have in the home. So that is the enjoyable journey that I am on proper now.”

Management — that is what Benny had all the time loved probably the most, and sports activities had given him that chance. At Eastwood Excessive College, he performed level guard on a “fairly good” Troopers squad: “Understanding the place to go and what to do, facilitating the whole lot — it simply labored out. I do know, it sounds form of bossy.”

He’d get married, have two youngsters, divorce — and all the time cherish these days when basketball was on the middle of his life.

In spring 2017, Benny dreamed of teaching Madison in basketball. “There’s nothing greater than seeing your individual baby play a sport that you simply love,” he says. “After which they adore it, and you’ve got that bond.”

Madison had different concepts. “I wished to attempt one thing new as a result of my dad’s like, ‘You must do basketball,’ and my mother’s like, ‘You must do cheerleading,'” she remembers with a smile. “I am like, ‘I will do one thing that they disapprove of.'” She selected soccer.

Benny could not consider it: Soccer was the one sport he’d by no means, ever performed. “I used to be like, ‘Madison, it is a hundred and one thing levels in El Paso within the summers.’ And Madison’s like, ‘Effectively, that is what I need to do.'” So Benny went on-line and located Madison a team: the Mighty Eagles, enjoying within the Paso del Norte Soccer Group.

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Benny began serving to out. “I develop into that dad that coaches hate: the dad that begins teaching,” he remembers. “I checked out Madison: ‘You did not need me to educate, however hey, right here I’m, serving to your coach coach. You are caught with me.'”

A 12 months and a half later, Benny joined two different dads on the Mighty Eagles — Luis Calvillo and Guillermo “Memo” Garcia — to kind a brand new team: El Paso Fusion. “We had our three ladies. After which we simply began recruiting different ladies, and it fused collectively. That is how we went with the identify.”

Desirous to be a frontrunner as soon as extra, undeterred by the blown ACL that made operating a problem or by his inexperience with soccer, Benny took his assistant teaching tasks critically. He wished Madison to get obsessive about soccer the way in which he was with basketball: “I am yelling at her, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.’ She checked out me: ‘Why are you all the time yelling at me?’ I inform her, ‘I am laborious on you as a result of I do know your potential. I do know what you are able to do.'”

That wasn’t why Madison had chosen soccer — or why she loved it a lot. “It turned out that I actually preferred it,” Madison says. “I like kicking the ball round and feeling the wind in your face if you run.” She and her BFFs on the team had even labored out some goal-scoring celebrations; simply planning them made her giddy.

When the coaches wished to take the team to Tucson, Arizona, for a event, they knew it could take some critical cash — however from the place? The women’ households had been already paying near $100 every. The spouse of one of many coaches talked about that she’d raised cash for a baseball team exterior one of many Walmarts on the town, the large one close to the Cielo Vista Mall. There was a slot open for Saturday, Aug. 3. EP Fusion had its likelihood.

That morning, they arrange at 9 o’clock. Whereas McGuire, Calvillo and Garcia taken care of the gamers gathered on the Walmart’s two entrances, their households minded a protracted desk with coolers and huge jugs of chilly drinks underneath a brown tent that shielded them from the Texas solar. Round 10:15 or so, Calvillo and McGuire created movies for Fb, one in English, the opposite in Spanish and English, attempting to lure buddies and kin to return help the team.

“Hey, good morning, everyone … how’re you doing this stunning Saturday?” McGuire mentioned on his video, his left earbud seen. “EP Fusion — we’re doing a fundraiser right here on the Walmart … we bought these superior little women proper right here: Ladies, say hello!”

Wearing brightly coloured EP Fusion T-shirts, waving hand-lettered indicators and carrying jars for money donations, Madison and her teammates waved on the digicam. By now, it was near 10:40 a.m.

ON THAT SAME morning of Aug. 3, simply hours earlier than he would decisively intervene on behalf of the ladies exterior the Walmart, one other soccer participant in El Paso was arriving on the gymnasium close to his place. Sebastian Velasquez was nonetheless new on the town. Signed by El Paso Locomotive from a Korean membership in July, he was starting his second stint within the USL, longing for a contemporary begin. He was 28 years outdated; almost half his life had handed for the reason that second that modified the whole lot for him and soccer — and as with Madison, it had all begun along with his father yelling.

It was 2007, and his household was residing in Greenville, South Carolina, the place they’d fled the unrest in his native Medellin, Colombia. Velasquez’s mom had gotten a job there with Umbro, the soccer attire firm, and a brand new world had opened up. He’d devoted his life to soccer and led his highschool to a state title as a freshman. Because of his mom’s job, he’d even gotten {a photograph} with the good Pele.

On this present day, although, he was 16, working alongside his father to put in plumbing in an area restaurant, attempting and failing to function a jackhammer, wishing he had been anyplace else. “I’ll always remember this,” Velasquez says. “I am getting yelled at by my dad. I could not maintain this factor nonetheless … and this man walks into the restaurant.”

This man was a soccer-playing buddy who urged Velasquez to attend a soccer camp on the town; there on the camp, improbably, was Steve Archibald, a Scottish striker who’d played for Barcelona in the ’80s, won two FA Cups and — most famously — been the last to convert from the spot after extra time in the 1984 UEFA Cup title game. His penalty helped to win the UEFA Cup for Tottenham Hotspur, setting off delirium at White Hart Lane.

Just as improbable in Velasquez’s mind was that Archibald was impressed with the 16-year-old’s prowess on the pitch. “He was like, ‘Where do you see yourself playing?… I think you have the potential to play professional.'”

There’d be a tryout and an invitation for Velasquez to travel to Barcelona, an agency contract signed there. Back home in the States, Velasquez would lead his club team to an under-18 national championship and win the tourney’s Golden Boot. That contract might have bollixed his Division I soccer hopes, but two sparkling years earning second-team All-America honors at Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina led to Velasquez being chosen in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake, as his family looked on: “We just started crying, jumping all over the house.”

Madison McGuire, right, and her teammates were trying to raise money for an upcoming soccer tournament by selling cold drinks and chicharrones outside an El Paso Walmart when a gunman opened fire. Courtesy Benny McGuire

Yet what he would remember most vividly was that day when he was 16: the day at the restaurant that led to him meeting Archibald, the dream that had begun to come true. “Oh, there’s no words to describe it,” he says, “to have a player of that magnitude tell me that he believes I have the potential to do it. It gives you a sense of motivation. You just want to go for it and try your best to make it.”

Less than two years later, on Dec. 7, 2013, Velasquez was in Kansas City, Kansas, freezing on the bench as Real Salt Lake played in 22-degree weather for the MLS Cup. He came on as a sub in the 87th minute, not long after Sporting KC had tied the score, and played through extra time. There were no goals. The match would be settled by penalty kicks.

At first, he thought he’d never be called on, as Sporting KC took an early lead. But things quickly evened up, and when Graham Zusi missed his kick for Sporting KC, it went to sudden death.

“Then their guy misses … and it is me for the game winner. If I make this PK, Real Salt Lake wins their second championship in history.” Just like Steve Archibald.

As Velasquez stood before the ball awaiting the referee’s whistle, he knew: This was where he wanted to be. “Confident as can be — I’ve always been — I walk up. I don’t look at the keeper, I don’t look at the crowd. I don’t think of what’s going on. I just think about how cold it is and I need to figure out how to get this ball in the back of the net.

“Next thing you know, I shoot. I look up … Keeper blocks it.”

No goal. Two rounds of kicks later, Sporting Kansas City was the MLS champion.

“I cried,” he says.

“It was absolutely terrible. I hated soccer. How can this sport turn my life from being amazing — because we were in the MLS Cup final, I’m getting calls from everybody — to, as soon as I missed that PK, it just all turned around?”

It turned bad in a hurry. Excessive use of alcohol had been an issue for Velasquez in the past; now, it overwhelmed him: “I went into a drinking depression, man.” He remembers vomiting while an electric fan blew air in his face, his mother cradling his head in her lap. “I can’t do anything for you,” she told him. “If you don’t get past this, you’re either going to be dead or in jail.”

In Velasquez’s words, “so many things happened” after that. The last of those things was rehab. “I was very confident when things were going well,” he says. “When things got bad, my true character was out — I was an addict to alcohol.”

That morning of Aug. 3, it puzzled him that he couldn’t get into his gym at first. “They did an extra security check. They’re like, ‘Things are a little dangerous.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?'”

BENNY MCGUIRE HAD put his phone away for the moment. It was about 10:40 a.m.; he’d been standing under the brown tent where the agua fresca was, talking to Luis Calvillo as he saw Calvillo’s father pull up in his SUV and honk the horn. He figured the two of them might want to speak privately; Garcia was there as well. McGuire was walking away, toward the Walmart Home & Living entrance, when a strange noise caught his attention.

“A firecracker,” he says. “That was my first thought.”

He turned around and saw what looked like a cloud of smoke under the tent. He stopped, looked back at his daughter and her friends. There was another sound, short and sharp. Now he knew — it wasn’t a firecracker. It was gunfire.

“I turned around, I told the girls, ‘Run.’ I told Madison, ‘Run, take off. I’ll catch you, just run.’ They all took off running inside. Instantly three, four, five rounds went off. That’s when I turned and took off after Madison and the girls, running inside Walmart.”

“We just all ran in the store,” Madison recalls. “I heard screams and a bunch of panicked voices. [The shooter] was in the front and that’s where all the shots were coming from, and we needed to get to safety.”

Benny caught up to Madison a few yards inside the door, grabbed his daughter’s hand and realized that the shooter or shooters were now inside the store as well. He and the girls could hear the echoing roar of the gunshots, the screams, the objects falling over. Benny ran on his repaired ACL, the girls and himself in panic mode, trying to think along with whoever was trying to kill people in the store.

“My first instinct was to get off the main aisle, so we cut through a linen aisle.” He and the girls dashed past an elderly man with a shopping cart, tried to dodge the throngs of people racing toward the front doors. They took another aisle — and headed for the back.

“What’s going to happen?” wailed one of Madison’s terrified friends. Madison tried to comfort her as they kept going toward the store’s exit: “We went to where the restrooms are. And then there’s a little door …”

With each audible burst of gunfire, the shrieks kicked up once more — even as Benny and the girls peeled out the back of the Walmart. They kept running, over a barrier, up an incline and into the parking lot of a Cinemark 14-screen multiplex. An aunt of one of the girls was with them; Benny told her, “Stay here. I’m going to run to get my car. I’m going to get us out of this thing.”

“When my dad left, I was like, ‘What if something happens to him?'” Madison recalls. “And that’s where I got really scared.”

Sprinting around the outside of the Walmart, Benny called his ex-wife to tell her that Madison was safe. By the time he reached the parking lot, he was on the phone with his girlfriend — and that’s when he saw a woman lying on the ground: “I kneel down to check her pulse and … you can see the devastation this shooter did. She’s gone. And I tell my girlfriend, ‘Oh my god.'”

As his girlfriend implored Benny to leave, he saw fellow coach Memo Garcia sprawled on the sidewalk near the brown tent, bleeding and semiconscious. “He tells me, ‘I’m hit, I’m hit, I’m hit — in my back, in my leg, somewhere.’ I see him putting pressure on his hip. I was like, ‘Keep the pressure, keep the pressure.'”

He looked to his left — and there was coach Luis Calvillo, also wounded, struggling to get to his feet. As Benny began to scream for help, a cop in SWAT gear ran up. “You’ve got to get out of here,” he told Benny.

“I can’t leave him,” Benny recalls. “He’s like, ‘Get out of here now. This guy is still on the premises, and we can’t find him.’ So I look at Memo, and I’m like, ‘They’re going to take care of you, dude. I got to go.’ And I run back to my car.”

Benny made it to the multiplex parking lot, piled the girls into his car and headed toward the entrance/exit to the Walmart. But it had been blocked by police, and now — stuck in traffic, the shooter still on the loose — Benny felt helpless.

“We were sitting ducks,” he says. “How am I going to protect my daughter? What am I going to do?”

“He’s like, ‘Girls, put your heads down,'” Madison says. “‘We need to find a way out of here.'”

Benny found another, unguarded exit and drove his car to his girlfriend’s just a couple of minutes away. He notified his ex-wife; other parents came by to sweep up their daughters. After everyone had left and it was just Benny and his daughter, the facade crumbled away. “I grabbed Madison, and I just hugged her. And I told her, for the first time in my life, I was scared. Scared of the fact that as a father I might’ve failed in protecting my daughter. And that’s the first time that I’ve truly, truly, truly felt fear.”

FROM THE MOMENT he’d arrived in town, what Sebastian Velasquez had liked most about El Paso was “the amount of Hispanics everywhere,” he says. “You go to grocery stores, you go to Italian restaurants — everyone’s Hispanic.”

Just hours after the attack on Walmart, not long after the shooter’s arrest a quarter-mile from the site, news emerged that the assault was rooted in hatred toward Hispanics. That hatred was on Velasquez’s mind as he watched the reports with his girlfriend. “I’ve had to go through racism myself; I grew up in South Carolina,” he says. “I go to another city where there’s no racism, we’re tons of Hispanics here, but still someone racist is capable of coming with a lethal weapon and shooting at a certain group of people.”

Then, one headline caught his eye: Soccer team raising funds. Two coaches have been shot. “And I said, ‘Wow, that’s home. I’ve done those things. I’ve raised money at different places where I’ve had to sell waters.'” He felt the need to do something — but what?

On social media, Velasquez spotted a GoFundMe for EP Fusion set up by Gooner Gals, a group of women Arsenal supporters led by Tiffany Campo in New Orleans. “Having lived through Katrina,” Campo says, “the one thing that people could do to help us was just to act. Don’t ask us what we need. If you’re able to help, do it.” The Gooner Gals’ initial fundraising goal was a modest one: raise the money for the tournament fees and equipment that the team had been trying to amass that Saturday at Walmart. Maybe a few hundred dollars or so.

Galvanized by the GoFundMe, Velasquez reached out to Campo. “He is almost … obsessively kind,” Campo recalls. “He really, really wanted to help.”

When Velasquez retweeted her appeal, it exploded across the soccer landscape, with support from Mia Hamm, Landon Donovan and the MLS’ Houston Dynamo. “I’m getting calls from everywhere,” he recalls. “People I’ve never met before… tons of ‘How can we help?'” Jozy Altidore donated $5,000; the USWNT’s Jessica McDonald donated cleats and equipment. “All these people are sports icons in America,” Velasquez says, “and they all wanted to be a part of it.” In 14 days, the fund grew to well over $30,000: “A whole soccer community, people from all over wanted to help these little girls from El Paso.”

McGuire would tell the team all the USL midfielder had been doing for them, and when he shared the news of McDonald’s gift, he made sure that Campo was on the phone so she could hear the girls screaming with joy.

Yet as he met with their parents, McGuire knew the team had other needs too. “At first it was a lot of hugs and cries and concerns,” he recalls. “And that led into, ‘I think right now all the girls need to be around each other.'” He set up a team pizza dinner, then called Velasquez.

That night, the girls gathered in a closed-off area — “probably about 10 tables of all the girls just enjoying themselves.” When Jessica Garcia, wife of Coach Memo, arrived, the players lined up to embrace her. Then McGuire took a call and hurried outside, where Velasquez and two of his teammates were waiting.

“I’ve met a lot of famous people — people that have won World Cups,” Velasquez says. “I’ve never felt nervous around them. I was nervous to meet these girls.” Twelve years ago, a soccer player had walked into a restaurant and transformed Velasquez’s life. Now, as he entered the restaurant with McGuire, it was his turn. “These girls go bananas,” McGuire recalls. “It felt like I walked in with One Direction or something.”

Velasquez took a moment to introduce himself to each of the players. “They just come hugging, smiling, laughing,” he says. “For about an hour, the world stopped, time stopped. We’re having pizza and just talking soccer. It felt like I was making a difference in someone’s life.”

“Literally, everyone started fangirling,” Madison says. She got Velasquez to sign her shirt.

“I remember somebody put a camera on them,” Velasquez recalls, “and they’re screaming Olé! at a pizza place. They’re screaming, Olé, olé, olé like it was like a stadium.”

AND THE ROCKETS’ red glare …

A few days later, on that Saturday evening in El Paso, the players of EP Fusion were reunited with Velasquez. They’d sat on the bench as his El Paso Locomotive team warmed up before standing together, wearing their sky-blue or red and yellow uniforms, on the field at Southwest University Park during a pregame ceremony in their honor, facing the fans as the national anthem continued to play.

The bombs bursting in air …

A firecracker, perhaps — that was their first thought.

It was the fireworks, erupting behind the girls with a BOOM at the end of each line in “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Yet the hands over the girls’ hearts started to grab their shirts, hard, some of their faces dissolving into incipient anguish. There was a visible stir of unease as they cast anxious looks around. Troubled, triggered, they held it together. But the anthem wasn’t over yet.

O’er the land of the free …

At the crescendo, more fireworks. But to the players of EP Fusion, that is not what it sounded like. It was the sound of their reality. The sound that they’d lived through. The sound that had stayed with them. It sounded like gunfire.

On the field, there was horror: the girls wailing and terrified in a whirlwind of confusion and tears, clinging to one another, looking for cover.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, [is it] happening again?'” Madison recalls. “We all just fell apart.”

Benny could feel Madison spinning into him on his right as one of her friends sobbed into his left shoulder. “All I could do was embrace them,” he says. “I wished my arms were 9 feet long.” Then Velasquez, his teammates and their opponents, Tacoma Defiance, formed a circle — a tight huddle with the girls at its center — trying with their bodies to ward off fear, to bring a sense of security.

It was an example of what gun culture has done to America’s young people, in El Paso and across the nation, at schools and stores and movie theaters, at workplaces and houses of worship, where after the madness, survivors tried to reconstruct what had happened.

Just this once, everyone could see it.

“WHEN I PLAY soccer,” Emylee Calvillo was saying on the sideline, “I can release my emotions, depending on how I feel, on the ball. And of course it’s about fun. I love being with my friends. They’re probably the closest friends I have.”

They were sitting with her — Madison McGuire and Nianney Nunes — on the late afternoon of Sept. 21, moments before they’d all begin to stretch in preparation for EP Fusion’s game at Blackie Chesher Park, east of downtown El Paso near U.S. 10. For Emylee, a forward, scoring a goal made her “feel like a celebrity.”

“Yeah,” Madison chimed in, “we’ll get crazy. We feel like we’re playing professional soccer.”

They illustrated their victory dance. “It’s like a chicken,” Emylee said, “so you [put] your hands out” — she demonstrated — “then you wiggle your legs.”

They knew that two of their three coaches were in the hospital with wounds they’d suffered in the attack. “Today, I know, it does count as a game, but we have to play for our coaches,” Nianney said. “We have to play the way we would normally play.”

Coach Guillermo “Memo” Garcia remained in the hospital for months, undergoing dozens of operations before succumbing to his wounds in late April. Shot five times in the back and the left leg, coach Luis Calvillo spent six days in a coma. His father, Jorge, had been killed in the attack. Coach Luis underwent hours of painful physical therapy in an effort to walk again. The GoFundMe money went toward their medical bills. The alleged shooter faces 90 federal counts of firearms violations and hate crimes; on the state level, the capital murder charges filed make him eligible for the death penalty. On July 23, he entered a not guilty plea to new charges brought in the wake of Memo Garcia’s death.

As he fought to recover, Coach Luis watched EP Fusion’s games on his laptop and critiqued their performance. Nearly two months after the shooting, he was released from the hospital and returned to this field. He received a hero’s welcome.

“When I release my anger or emotions on the ball,” Nianney said as game time drew nearer, “it’s basically telling me this is a safe spot I’m comfortable with.”

Then Madison let out a shout. “It’s Sebastian!” The El Paso Locomotive midfielder had just arrived at the field, where he had come to watch the team play. The girls were euphoric. “He’s really nice, and he helps support us,” Madison said. “Right after this whole thing happened, he was just like, ‘OK, we’re here, I know what you’re going through.'”

Emylee agreed: “It’s really awesome to know that a soccer player is coming out for your small team in El Paso.”

“It’s a small world after all,” Madison added.

“It’s a small world, like Madison said,” Emylee agreed. They were all laughing now.

“It’s exciting to watch them play — for the first time for me, actually,” Velasquez said. “It shows how strong they are, the maturity that they have.”

As the sun began to set, the girls of El Paso Fusion ran hard and played the best they knew how, McGuire imploring them from the sideline. By the middle of the second half, they’d had few scoring opportunities, and the voices from the sideline grew more insistent. But the 1-0 loss didn’t seem to deter the girls.

McGuire gathered his things and hugged his daughter. He had always believed he had talent for leadership; that day at the Walmart, risking his life to rush Madison and her friends to safety, he had proved it — then proved it again by leading his team through the weeks afterward. “It’s like, ‘Oh my god, he’s finally the Batman that he wanted to be,'” Madison said.

Velasquez, who once felt he’d located his “true character” at the bottom of a bottle, showed these girls and the world who he really was — lifting up their hearts just as Steve Archibald had once transformed his life.

Through him and Tiffany Campo, the soccer community — players, teams, supporters — stood firm against hatred, and for EP Fusion. “My only hope was to show those young girls that there are good people in the world and that we look out for each other,” Campo wrote on Twitter. “They know that now. You probably did that.”

By now it was darkish. Exterior the sector, the ladies of El Paso Fusion lined up at an ice cream truck and positioned their orders. To the correct stood a smiling Velasquez. He was paying for all of them. “They’re the strongest individuals proper now strolling on this earth,” he mentioned. “I’ll all the time have them in my coronary heart.”

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