US media reports for the first time on identified victims of the Kabul attack on Friday. Max Soviak, a medic in the early twenties Navy, and Marine Kareem Nikoui were killed by the airport suicide action. A Texas soldier is also among the dead. One of the fatalities hoped to be a father soon.
The U.S. Department of Defense hasn‘t officially announced the identity of soldiers killed yet, but the families are already telling their story. According to protocol, the Pentagon only confirms the names of killed soldiers 24 hours after their death has been announced to their family.
The attack, claimed by the Afghan branch of Islamic State, killed at least thirteen American soldiers. Among them Max Soviak from the state of Ohio, “a good student who was active in sports and other activities during his school period. He was widely respected and appreciated by everyone who knew him,” reports the Edison High School where Soviak went to.
The young military‘s sister is also in tears. “I‘ve never been politics and I don’t want to start it right now. What I do want to say is that my beautiful, intelligent, annoying, charming brother was murdered yesterday while saving other lives,” she writes on social media. “He was just a child. (…) My heart is in pieces.”
Her brother Max posted another photo with two other soldiers on mission in Afghanistan this year. The telling caption: ‘It’s kill or be killed, definitely trynna be on the kill side‘.
Steve Nikoui, the father of the California Kareem dispatched to Afghanistan, knew what time it was when Marines were at his door. To The Daily Beast, he says “still in shock. I still can’t grasp everything that‘s going on.” According to Nikoui, his son “always wanted to be a marine” and loved his work much. He wouldn’t have had any doubt to be broadcast.
Kareem‘s father is also hard on President Joe Biden. “They sent my son there to fill in papers, and suddenly he had to vouch for safety together with the Taliban. I blame our military leaders. Biden turned his back on my son. It’s that simple.”
“Rylee would be a father”
Rylee McCollum, a young man from Bondurant in the state of Wyoming joined the Marine Corps right after high school. It was his first foreign assignment. “He wanted to be a marine all his life, even when he was wearing diapers, he was walking around with a gun,” his father said.
McCollum had only entered the wedding boat in May, his wife is pregnant with their first child and was supposed to give birth in three weeks. “He wanted to be a history teacher and wrestling coach after serving his country. He was a hard but friendly boy who made an impact on everyone he met.”
The 20-year-old David Lee Espinoza also failed to return alive from Afghanistan. He came from Texas. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of the killed Marine David L. Espinoza,” said the police department from his hometown Laredo. “Semper Fi. Thank you for your service.”