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President Biden meets with families of fallen service members in Dover

by DrewLUD
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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Sunday will meet with families of fallen service members who gave their lives to save Americans, partners and Afghan allies in Kabul.

Biden and his wife, Jill, traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet privately with the families of those killed and then attend the dignified transfer of the fallen troops, a military ritual of receiving the remains of those killed in foreign combat. 

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The president met with the families following an attack by the Taliban in Kabul, which killed at least 13 U.S. service members and wounded dozens of Afghan residents.

The dead ranged in age from 20 to 31 and came from California and Massachusetts and states in between. They include a 20-year-old Marine from Wyoming who had been expecting his first child in three weeks and a 22-year-old Navy corpsman who in his last FaceTime conversation with his mother assured her that he would stay safe because “my guys got me.”

This combination of photos released by the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton/U.S. Department of Defense shows 12 service members killed in the Kabul airport bombing in Afghanistan on Aug. 26, 2021. Top Row, from left: Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, Calif., Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, Calif., Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Bottom Row, from left: Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyo., Navy Corpsman, Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee. Not pictured is Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Roseville, Calif., was also killed.

Five were just 20, born not long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that spurred the United States to invade Afghanistan in order to topple al-Qaida and dismantle their Taliban hosts who ruled the country.

At their deaths, the 13 young service members were on the ground for the U.S. coda to its longest war, assisting a chaotic evacuation of Americans and of Afghans who helped the U.S. war effort and are now fleeing the Taliban after their return to power.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service