President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will meet today with the families of the 13 U.S. troops killed in Thursday’s suicide attack near the Kabul Airport.
The remains of the fallen troops—who Biden called “heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice”—are slated to return to U.S. soil at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
The Bidens will meet privately with the Gold Star families and then attend the “dignified transfer,” a military ritual of receiving the remains of those killed in foreign combat.
A dignified transfer is conducted for every U.S. service member killed in action.
“Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far,” Biden said. “May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.”
The August 26 attack near the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport, which killed 11 Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier, is under investigation but a retaliatory drone strike claimed the lives of two ISIS-K members who are said to have planned the suicide bombings.
Pentagon officials identified the terrorist bombing victims as:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
The U.S. carried out a military strike on Sunday against an ISIS-K target in Kabul, a development that comes in the final days of an immense humanitarian evacuation mission.
Sunday’s strike follows a warning from Biden’s national security team that another attack at the airport in Kabul is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours.”