Last Thursday on August 26, thirteen U.S. servicemen were killed, along with many Afghan civilians, in a suicide bombing near the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. These brave servicemen and women were part of the heroic effort to evacuate as many Americans and Afghan allies as possible before the withdrawal of U.S. troops on August 31. Below are the names, ages, and hometowns of these heroes:
• Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, assigned to 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
• Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
• Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
• Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California, a rifleman.
• Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, a rifleman.
• Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana, a rifleman.
• Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas, a rifleman.
• Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri, a rifleman.
• Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming, a rifleman.
• Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, a rifleman.
• Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.
• Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.
• Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee. Knauss was assigned to 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Let us not forget the sacrifice of these American heroes. We should also keep their families in our prayers, as well as the Americans who are stranded in Afghanistan and yet to come home.