What We Know About The 13 United States Service Members Killed In The Kabul Airport Bombing
The United States Defense Department has identified all 13 service members that were killed in the Kabul Airport sucide bombing that took place Thursday morning. The bombing left numerous Afghan citizens injured and killed, along with 18 other United States Service members.
Here is what we know about 12 Service members killed in the bombing.
Navy Corpsman Maxton “Max” W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
Navy Corpsman Maxton “Max” W. Soviak played High School football for Edison High School before he graduated in 2017. “As a football player he was full tilt 100 miles an hour, fearless which leads you to understand you know where he was and what maybe happened,” Jim Hall, head football coach at Edison told a local news station in Ohio.
Soviak joined the Service right after graduating High School in 2017. The coach said he still can’t believe it, telling the local news station Superintendent Thomas Roth said “he just loved life”.
Army Staff Sergeant Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
Army Staff Sergeant Ryan C. Knauss went to Gibbs High School before joining the service. His parents told a local news station Knauss was part of the 82nd Airborne Division and a Staff Sergeant.
Knauss was only in Afghanistan for a week before his death according to his Grandmother. There have been no funeral arrangements made yet but he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover Jr., 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover Jr was on his thor tour of service according to his parents. “He led his men, and they followed him, but I know in my heart of hearts he was out front,” His Father told local news stations. His father goes on to say, “They would follow him through the gates of hell if that’s what it took.”
His father told reporters the 9/11 terrorist attacks moved his son when he was a child, and he vowed he was going to serve his Country when he was older.
Marine Corps Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo was screening women and children at the Abbey gate when the attack took place, according to Marine First Lieutenant John “Jack” Coppola. He told reporters in an email she was excellent at her job and a very hard worker.
Pichardo is a Lawrence High School graduate and former Bridgewater State University student. She is survived by her mother and sister, a local station reported, and she will be laid to rest in Lawrence where her family lives.
Marine Corps Sergeant Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
Marine Corps Sergeant Nicole L. Gee was one of Many Marines seen holding and comforting children just days before her death. Just days before she died, she posted a picture on Instagram of her holding a Afghan child with the caption, “I love my job”.
She joined the Marines less than a year ago, and was promoted to Sargent less than three weeks prior to her death according to her Instagram stories.
She was married to fellow Marine Jarod Gee. Her sister said in a statement the two of them were always happy, celebrating life and the holidays in photos you can see on instagram.
Marine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
Marine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez joined the Marines in 2017. Lopez was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines according to a statement released by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.
Lopez, 22 was the son of Riverside Deputy Sheriff Alicia Lopez and Riverside Sheriff’s Captain Herman Lopez. He intended to follow his parents into law enforcement after his current deployment and become a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy, According to the department’s statement.
Marine Corps Corporal Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
Marine Corps Corporal Daegan W. Page joined the Marines after graduating Millard South High School, according to a statement released from his family to all the local news outlets.
He was a member of the Boy Scouts. Page enjoyed playing hockey and hunting and “spending time outdoors with his dad,” the statement said.
His family said he was always looking forward to coming home and making friends in Nebraska. The Statement said after his Service he planned on coming home and attending a trade school to become an electrical lineman.
Marine Corps Corporal Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
Marine Corps Corporal Humberto A. Sanchez graduated High School in 2017. Attending Logansport High School he played Varsity Soccer. He was also on the Homecoming Court his Senior year according to the School’s Principal.
The principal told a local newspaper he was a bright young man that was well liked by teachers and students throughout the school.
Logansport Mayor Chris Martin mourned Sanchez’s death in a Facebook post Friday. “This young man had not yet even turned 30 and still had his entire life ahead of him,” Martin wrote. “Any plans he may have had for his post-military life were given in sacrifice due to the heart he exhibited in putting himself into harm’s way to safeguard the lives of others.”
Indiana Congressman Jim Baird posted his condolences on Facebook as well, saying, “He bravely answered the call to serve his nation, and I am both proud of his service and deeply saddened by his loss.”
Marine Corps Lance Corporal David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
Marine Corps Lance Corporal David L. Espinoza was born and raised in Rio Bravo but attended school in Laredo Texas according to local news outlets.
Congressman Henry Cuellar released a statement that said, in part, “Mr. Espinoza embodied the values of America: grit, dedication, service, and valor. Mr. Espinoza is a hero.”
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
For Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared M. Schmitz, being a Marine “was something he always wanted to do,” his father, Mark Schmitz said in an interview, “and I never saw a young man train as hard as he did to be the best soldier he could be.”
His Father says he went to Afghanistan less than two weeks before his death. In an interview his father got emotional when he said he is honored to call him his son.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
McCollum was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming, where he graduated Jackson Hole High School and in 2019 graduated from Summit Innovations school.
According to the Associated Press, he was a husband and a father to be in the coming months.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
Lance Corporal Dylan R. Merola was only in Afghanistan for less than a week according to his Mother. A loved one told a local station that he was expected to come home in just a few weeks to attend college with a degree in engineering.
His graduating High School, Los Osos, honored him at their first Football game of the season.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
Kareem M. Nikoui attended Norco High School in 2019 and served in JROTC, according to local news outlets in California.
“Just a good kid. Really had a strong energy about him and knew what he wanted to do,” Norco High School principal Robert Ibbetson said. “It was neat to see that kind of direction and drive and goal-setting.”
He is survived by his mother, father and siblings, the City of Norco confirmed Friday night.
Marine Corporals that are deceased:
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Marine Corps Sergeant Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Marine Corps Sergeant Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California.
Marine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.
Marine Corps Corporal Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.
Marine Corps Corporal Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.
Marine Corps Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.
The Navy that are deceased:
Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio.
The Army that are deceased:
Army Staff Sergeant. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
The Kabul bombing took place only hours after United States officials warned about the potential bombing at the Airport. The vomving is being blamed on ISIS-K. President Biden has vowed to make ISIS-K accountable for the bombing that took place. You can read a full report on the bombing and the latest on the evacuation from Afghanistan here.