Home Votes to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Troops Killed in Kabul Airport Blast

The 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul in August are a step nearer to receiving Congress’ highest honor after the Home accepted posthumously awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.

In a vote Monday night, the Home agreed to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the 11 Marines, one Navy corpsman and one soldier who had been killed within the assault outdoors the Kabul airport throughout the navy’s chaotic evacuation of U.S. residents and weak Afghans.

“The American servicemembers went above and past the decision of responsibility to guard residents of the USA and our allies to make sure they’re dropped at security in a particularly harmful scenario because the Taliban regained management over Afghanistan,” the invoice to award the medals mentioned.

“The American servicemembers exemplified excessive bravery and valor in opposition to armed enemy combatants,” it added.

The Home invoice was launched by Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., and co-sponsored by 323 lawmakers. The measure was accepted by voice vote on Monday, that means it had close to unanimous approval.

The Senate nonetheless should vote to approve the medals and the president should signal the invoice earlier than they’re awarded. A companion invoice was launched within the Senate final month by Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and has 53 co-sponsors.

Learn Subsequent: Marine Corps Makes It Clear: Get The Vaccine or Get Out

The Biden administration has touted its evacuation effort as a hit, citing the truth that greater than 124,000 folks had been airlifted out of Afghanistan after Kabul fell to the Taliban.

However the Kabul airport assault, together with photos of determined Afghans clinging to the aspect of a U.S. transport aircraft and the truth that lots of of U.S. residents and hundreds of eligible Afghans had been left behind after the navy evacuations ended, have fueled criticism of the evacuation from lawmakers in each events.

On Aug. 26, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest outdoors the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai Internetional Airport. The Afghan department of ISIS, often called ISIS-Ok, later claimed accountability for the bombing.

The assault occurred whereas throngs of Afghans determined to flee Taliban rule crowded outdoors the airport because the U.S. navy rushed to evacuate as many individuals as potential earlier than President Joe Biden’s deadline to completely withdraw from Afghanistan by Aug. 31.

Along with the 13 U.S. troops killed, an estimated 170 Afghan civilians died.

The Pentagon recognized the service members killed as Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22; Army Workers Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23; and Marines Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20; Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20; Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20; Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22; Workers Sgt. Taylor Hoover, 31; Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Web page, 23; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23; Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22; Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20; and Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25.

Days earlier than her dying, Gee posted a photograph to Instagram of her holding a child whereas deployed to Afghanistan with the caption, “I really like my job.”

McCollum had gotten married earlier this yr, and his widow gave beginning to their daughter weeks after his dying.

Knauss married his highschool sweetheart in 2016, the identical yr he joined the Army, and the couple deliberate to attempt to have a baby when he returned.

Soviak left behind 12 siblings and grew up enjoying soccer. Lopez was the son of two Riverside County, Calif., Sheriff’s Division deputies. Nikoui was a martial arts champion, and Schmitz determined he wished to be a Marine when he was sophomore in highschool.

These are simply a few of the tales of the 13 troops who grew to become the final U.S. fatalities of America’s longest battle. The ultimate U.S. troops left Afghanistan days after the assault.

“These 13 fallen warriors, together with many others, made the final word sacrifice. Every of them knew their responsibility, and so they accepted the dangers,” McClain mentioned Monday on the Home ground. “They knew the mission and valiantly solid forward, serving to lots of to security, overcoming their very own fears, when a suicide bomb attacked them and took their very own lives.”

— Rebecca Kheel could be reached at rebecca.kheel@navy.com. Observe her on Twitter @reporterkheel.

Associated: All However One Marine Injured within the Lethal Assault at Kabul Airport Launched from Walter Reed

Present Full Article

© Copyright 2022 Navy.com. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.