09/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2021 14:50
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined in introducing bipartisan legislation to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 American service members who terrorists killed in Afghanistan on August 26, 2021 while the service members were bravely working to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
'These 13 men and women sacrificed everything to bring Americans and our Afghan partners to safe harbor, and their efforts to evacuate more than 122,000 people will never be forgotten,' Senator Hassan said. 'My gratitude for these brave heroes is immeasurable and my heart aches for their families and loved ones. I urge my colleagues to swiftly pass this bipartisan bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 service members who answered the call of duty and gave the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect and save others.'
'The brave service members who died carrying out their mission to evacuate Americans and allies in Afghanistan are heroes. They made the ultimate sacrifice to save more than 122,000 lives - U.S. citizens, Afghan allies, women and children who faced immediate danger and even death at the hands of terrorists. These thirteen service members were the best of us. And they are absolutely deserving of Congress's highest honor,' said Senator Shaheen. 'I'm proud to join this effort to cement our nation's recognition of their unparalleled patriotism and service through the Congressional Gold Medal.'
The names of the fallen are as follow: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Navy Hospital Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, and Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page.