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The fathers of 2 Marines killed in Afghanistan say they felt disrespected by Biden checking his watch during the repatriation of their sons' remains

·2 min read
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  • Biden appeared to check his watch during the repatriation of US service members who died in Kabul.

  • The fathers of two US Marines said they felt disrespected.

  • One said it was "the most disrespectful thing I've ever seen."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

US President Joe Biden looks down alongside First Lady Jill Biden as they attend the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan last week.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The fathers of two US Marines killed in the Kabul airport attack last week said they felt disrespected by President Joe Biden after he was seen checking his watch at a ceremony marking the return of the US service members' remains.

The "dignified transfer" of the service members, a process by which fallen service members killed in combat abroad are transported from an aircraft to a vehicle, took place at Dover Air Base on Sunday. During the ceremony, Biden was filmed appearing to check his watch at least once.

-Alexander Cutadean (@AlexCutadean) August 29, 2021

Mark Schmitz, the father of Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, and Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, both told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday that they saw Biden repeatedly checking his watch during the event.

Hoover told Hannity that he refused to meet with Biden that day because he didn't want him "anywhere near us." He added: "In reference to the checking of his watch, that didn't happen just once. That happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They'd release the salute, and he'd look down at his watch - on all 13 he'd look down at his watch."

Schmitz added: "I actually leaned into my son's mother's ear, and I said, 'I swear to God, if he checks his watch one more time,' and that was probably only four times in. I couldn't look at him anymore after that, just especially considering the time and why we were there. It was, I found to be, the most disrespectful thing I've ever seen."

Schmitz said that his meeting with Biden went badly after he voiced how he felt about the death of his son to the president.

"Initially, I wasn't going to meet with him, but then I felt I owed it to my son to have some words with him about how I felt," Schmitz said.

"It didn't go well. He talked a bit more about his own son more than he talked about my son, and that didn't sit well with me," he added.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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