Biden receives bodies of soldiers killed in Kabul bombing

The transfers started in the late morning and lasted almost 40 minutes, ending in the afternoon. Time and time again, servicemen dressed...


The transfers started in the late morning and lasted almost 40 minutes, ending in the afternoon. Time and time again, servicemen dressed in various shades of green fatigues carried flag-draped transfer cases onto the transport ramp, which faced Air Force One on the runway. First came the army, then the marines, then the navy. Transport crews, as they are called, worked in three-minute cycles, marching in front of a crowd of dignitaries, including the President, Secretaries of State and Defense, and several senior military officers. They carried the remains of the transport and lifted them through the rear cargo doors of four gray pickup trucks.

The president held his hand over his heart as they passed. When sets of Marines returned to the C-17’s belly empty-handed to retrieve the next set of remains, Mr. Biden expanded his stance and joined his hands by his belt or behind his back. Often he would bow his head with his eyes closed, as if praying.

In front of him sat rows of family members of the dead, so numerous that the base at Dover could not accommodate them all in its rooms built especially for next of kin.

The fallen soldiers returning Sunday to Dover were Marine Corps Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City; Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, from Lawrence, Mass .; Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, Calif .; Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, Calif .; Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, Omaha; Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana; Marine Corps Cpl Lance. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas; Marine Corps Cpl Lance. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri; Marine Corps Cpl Lance. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyo. ; Marine Corps Cpl Lance. Dylan R. Merola, 20, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif .; Marine Corps Cpl Lance. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, from Norco, California; Marine Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio; and the army sergeant major. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.

The President and First Lady Jill Biden met with the families of those servicemen mid-morning on Sunday. They then participated in 13 transfers – 11 for families who chose to allow the media to observe the remains of loved ones returning home, and two for families who chose to keep their transfers private.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden receives bodies of soldiers killed in Kabul bombing
Biden receives bodies of soldiers killed in Kabul bombing
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