The recent devastating terror attack at Kabul airport has caused a nation to weep. Thirteen brave U.S. service members were blown apart by a suicide bomber who also killed at least 169 Afghan civilians. A number of children are included in the casualty count. An additional 18 U.S. service members were injured by the blast and have been airlifted to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. I pray for their recovery. The carnage is the result of an act of pure, unadulterated evil.
U.S. and NATO forces were conducting a humanitarian mission to evacuate their citizens and supportive Afghans while entrusting the enemy to provide perimeter security, the same enemy who provided sanctuary for the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11. In spite of knowing the extreme danger of the situation, the U.S. military was unable to provide force protection for our troops. There must be accountability.
Our fallen service members have now been identified. Please join me in honoring them:
• Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
• Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
• Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
• Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
• Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
• 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, Wyoming
• Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
• Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
• Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
• Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
No hero is greater than the one who gives their life for their country. They deserve our total respect. They prove we are the "home of the brave." May they rest in eternal peace under God's care.
Ethan Jones lives in Rockport