Throughout these past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about Afghanistan and our pulling out of our military. In the process of this, 13 service members were killed during the attack on an airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. These service members were trying to evacuate people to safety. This is not meant to be a political article, but more of remembrance and honoring these service members for their brave sacrifices and for them protecting our country.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
This was his third tour to Afghanistan and was said by many to be a natural-born leader. He was known for his love for his country and how he always knew what he wanted to do and to helps those who are less fortunate.
Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
Pichardo was known to be lively and a warrior. She was crucial in evacuating thousands of people. Pichardo was Dominican-American and the Dominican Republic's embassy wrote their condolences as well for her family.
Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
Sergeant Gee was loved by many, and one of her friends stated that "she had one of the most beautiful souls to have ever existed". She loved her job and loved what she did. She was always trying to learn and grow. Many loved her and loved to be around her.
Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
Lopez chose to follow his parents in a life of service, bravery, and sacrifice like his two sheriff's department employee parents. His friends and family said that he thought of being in the Marines as a calling instead of a job or an occupation.
Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
Page was a family man having four siblings. He was also a member of his community and was a member of the Boy Scouts and played club hockey. He also enjoyed hunting with his father and was known for his soft spot in his heart for dogs. He loved his country and was able to make the ultimate sacrifice for others.
Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
Sanchez was known for always stepping up and accepting what needed done for the greater good. He was known in his community for putting himself in harms way in order to protect others.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
Espinoza had a loving mother and younger sister that had just turned 13 that he left to go protect our country. Espinoza had been stationed in Jordan for two years and about a week ago got transferred to Kabul. He was a family-oriented person and his mother stated how proud she was of him but how hard it was for them as well.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Montana
Schmitz was stationed in Jordan on his first deployment and then roughly two weeks ago got transferred to Kabul for the evacuation. His father said that Schmitz always wanted to do this and trained as hard as he could in order to be the best soldier he could.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
Ever since McCollum was 3 years old, he dreamed of being a Marine. He was originally stationed in Jordan as well and also got transferred to Afghanistan. His father said that he was a beautiful soul and an incredible solider.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
Merola was known as a kind, loving person who would do anything for anyone. He had just recently been transferred to Afghanistan and had left a voicemail for his mother saying how he would not be able to talk very often but that he loved her.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
His father said that Nikoui was born the same year this war started, 2001, and he ended his life with the end of this war. He loved his Marine family and that he always wanted to be a Marine and make a career out of it.
Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
Sovaik grew up in a small town in Ohio where he played football and spent time with his family including his sister Marilyn. He was a Navy Medic and was always the one people looked to in tough situations. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was a passionate person who never held back.
Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
Knauss was someone who loved their country to deeply and greatly that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for it. He had been in the Army for five years and had plans to move to Washington once he returned home. He wrote an essay discussing who his role models where and he stated that they were people who stand against power to help those in need.
These were the 13 killed. These were only 13 among the many that had to pay the same price.