Service members killed in Kabul bombing awarded Purple Hearts
WASHINGTON — Thirteen service members who died in the suicide bomber attack during the evacuation mission in Afghanistan late last month have been awarded Purple Hearts, according to the Navy.
The 13 troops were killed Aug. 26 as they were helping to screen Afghans and others at the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport. At least 169 Afghans were also killed in the bombing, as they struggled to get into the airport and on flights out of the country.
Awarded the Purple Heart were the following:
Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio.
Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
Marine Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts..
Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.
Marine Cpl. Daegan Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.
Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.
Marine Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.
Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.
Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.
The Navy also announced that Soviak was posthumously promoted to third class petty officer and awarded the Fleet Marine Force Corpsman warfare badge.