The U.S. Department of Defense released Thursday the identifications of U.S. service members who fell victims to a suicide bombing at Kabul international airport in Afghanistan. U.S. media outlets including the New York Times reported that the average age of the 13 fallen soldiers was just 22.
Sergeant Gee (23) who was in charge of repair at Marines Corps, posted on her Instagram images of her holding and taking care of a baby at the airport about a week before the terror attack. “I love my job,” she wrote. Her Instagram account also shows images of her escorting people who seek to flee Afghanistan and expressing happiness for her promotion to sergeant.
Her father Richard Herrera told The Washington Post, “My daughter texted me several days before she died. She told me she was helping women and children who are evacuating Afghanistan to escape from Taliban.” She had wanted to become an air-traffic controller but changed her occupation to repair technician due to irregular heartbeat. Her best friend Mallory Harrison said on her Facebook page “Her car is still parked at our parking lot (at the Marines base in North Carolina). My best friend, eternal sister, and my other half.”
Another victim Rylee McCollum (20) had a wife who was expecting baby in three weeks. His family said, “McCollum was to make a great father.” Playing with a toy rifle since young, he wanted to become a soldier, and volunteered to join the military as soon as he turned 18. When he gets discharged from the Marines, he wanted to become a history teacher or wrestling coach.
Marines Kareem Nikoui (20) was born in 2001 when the Afghan war started after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Having learned martial art when young, he wanted to become a lifetime career Marine. His father was informed of his death by three Marines who visited his home when he was watching news on the suicidal attack in Kabul on TV soon after the incident. “My son was born when the war broke out and died when the war ends.” Nikoui sent his family video clips of him playing with Afghan children up until several hours before the attack in Kabul.
Jae-Dong Yu firstname.lastname@example.org