EL PASO, Texas - The missing sailor from El Paso was committed to protecting our country, friends and relatives tell ABC-7.
Ten sailors, including El Pasoan Abraham Lopez, disappeared following a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a Liberian merchant vessel on August 21, 2017, according to the U.S. Navy
Lopez's stepbrother, Ramiro Garcia, told ABC-7 Lopez graduated from Irvin High School in 1997. Garcia said Lopez is married, has two daughters and is currently living in Japan while on duty.
"He was committed to protect our country," said Charlie Brown, a long-time friend of Lopez said.
Brown said Lopez enlisted in the U.S. Navy as soon as he graduated high school.
Brown told ABC-7 that Lopez was previously stationed in San Diego, Hawaii, Spain and Japan.
"He mentioned he wanted to retire. He said his daughters were growing up and wanted to spend more time with them," Brown said.
The U.S. Navy stated on it's website that after more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts, the U.S. Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for the missing sailors, although it will continue search and recovery efforts for the missing sailors inside flooded compartments in the ship.
"He was a loving guy and he wanted the best for people and he cared," high school companion Orlando Gutierrez said.
"I'm still praying he's holding on. He's a fighter," said Garcia.