Congress Seeks Congressional Gold Medals for 13 Slain US Soldiers in Kabul Attack

Congress Seeks Congressional Gold Medals for 13 Slain US Soldiers in Kabul Attack United States Capitol Building in Washington DC. (Dreamstime)

By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 01 September 2021 05:58 AM

Congress introduced a bill Tuesday to honor the slain 13 U.S. servicemen killed in Kabul last week with the Congressional Gold Medal.

“The American service members went above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens of the United States and our allies to ensure they are brought to safety in an extremely dangerous situation as the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan,” the bill reads.

The attack took place Aug. 26 at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Afghanistan as the service members were guarding gates and helping the thousands of American citizens, third-country nationals and Afghan refugees flocking to the airport to leave the country following the Taliban takeover Aug. 14.

More than 200 others were killed, and many more injured as terrorists from the group ISIS-K launched a suicide bombing at one of the gates, and another near the airport.

President Joe Biden went to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Aug. 29 for the Dignified Transfer of the remains of the slain soldiers.

If passed by Congress and signed by Biden, the soldiers’ medal will be displayed with other recipients at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions.”

Past recipients include George Washington, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, and other icons in U.S. history.

The group would join other honored servicemen such as John Paul Jones, former President and Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, World War II Gen. John J. Pershing, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, The Tuskegee Airmen, U.S. Army 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service, American Fighter Aces, and World War II members of the 17th Bombardment Group known as "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders,” among many others.

The Hill listed the servicemen killed as; Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22; Cpl. Daegan Page, 23; Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22; Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20; Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20; Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20; Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20; Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23; Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25; Navy Hospitalman Maxton Soviak, 22, and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23.

The bipartisan bill has 158 sponsors and is spearheaded by Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., The Hill reported.

“These heroic men and women are gone far too soon, and we must honor them for their bravery in helping U.S. citizens and Afghan allies safely evacuate Afghanistan,” McClain said in a statement. “My heart aches for the families and loved ones of our service members. We will always remember their service and pay tribute to their sacrifice.”

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