US victims of Kabul blast named, as father of one hits out at Biden: ‘He turned his back on him’

·1 min read
Rylee McCollum was on his first deployment and said to become a father for first time (Courtesy of McCollum family)
Rylee McCollum was on his first deployment and said to become a father for first time (Courtesy of McCollum family)

One of them was one his first deployment and looking forward to his first child in just three weeks.

Another was described by a sister as her “beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother”. A third was said to be “embody the values of America - grit, dedication, service, and valour.”

The grief-wracked parents of two of the dead service-members reportedly attacked Joe Biden, saying their sons had been let down by poor leadership. The mother of one of those killed, said she did not apportion blame to the president, and that her son “wanted to be there”.

On Friday, as the world sought to take pause after the devastating suicide bomb at Kabul airport killed up to 170 people, the identities of some of the 13 American service members emerged, along with the details of their lives.

While the Pentagon has not yet officially released the names of 13 who were killed, six names have released by family members or others - Max Soviak, 22, Rylee McCollum, 20, David Lee Espinoza, 20, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, 20 and 22-year-old Hunter Lopez.

“We continue to mourn the loss of these Marines and pray for their families,” Marine Corps spokesman Maj Jim Stenger said in a statement to the media.

“Our focus now is taking care of the families of those who were killed and caring for our injured.”

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