Cowboy Hat-Wearing Hero at Boston Marathon Watches Carnage After Losing Two Sons

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"I couldn't even get a text to him," she said. Eyewitnesses reported that cell phones were blocked by the deluge of calls after the explosions. "Then I saw him, covered in blood."

Her husband was "rinsed off and sent on his happy way," according to Melida Arredondo. "I took the train home. I was nervous and didn't know where to go at first. It was a bit confusing."

Most the National Guard runners had made it to the finish line before the explosions -- all but one, and the couple said they had no idea what his fate was.

When Melida Arredondo finally got a chance to clear her head at home, she said, "I immediately went back to my stepson who we lost in Iraq."

Melida Arredondo said she has been concerned about the "all the children" who were injured in the marathon explosions.

And she thought of her stepson Brian, who couldn't cope with life without Alexander.

"He was never quite the same after his brother's death," she said. Just before the older boy's death, the brothers were making plans together to go to California.

"We are running on adrenaline right now and unfortunately we have a lot of experience," she said, cutting off her sentence, but meaning, unmistakably -- trauma.

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