- Title: Anger, grief for family members of 13 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan
- Date: 28th August 2021
- Summary: BERLIN HEIGHTS, OHIO, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 27, 2021) (REUTERS) WIDE OF THE DOWNTOWN AREA WHERE MANY FLAGS ARE PLACED FOR NAVY MEDIC MAX SOVIAK, ONE OF 13 U.S. SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED A FLAG DOWNTOWN FLYING AT HALF-MAST IN HONOR OF SOVIAK A DOWNTOWN STREET WITH AMERICAN FLAGS ON DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONNIE WARD, MAYOR OF THE VILLAGE OF BERLIN HEIGHTS, SAYING ABOUT NAVY MEDIC MAX SOVIAK: "He was just a really good kid that everybody liked. Everybody loves the family. Just very well respected." TOWNSHIP LETTER BOARD SIGN THAT READS (English) "GOD BLESS USN MEDIC MAX SOVIAK AND HIS FAMILY" (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONNIE WARD, MAYOR OF THE VILLAGE OF BERLIN HEIGHTS, SAYING: "What we're trying to do is first and foremost be respectful of family and their wishes, which are now to be left alone. So we're trying to everything we can in a supportive, silent way, to know that we stand by them and support them. So we've lined both directions (of the village) with flags. We have about 700 flags up, with probably another 500 or more coming tomorrow, so we'll have all the roads in town lined with flags. And we have some road signs coming in support also, so we can all the route so when they come back to town, that they'll know that we support them. We're trying to give them their space but know that their community stands behind them, and when they want us we'll be there for them." A HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN
- Embargoed: 11th September 2021 08:09
- Keywords: Afghanistan suicide blast Hunter Lopez ISIS-K Kabul airport Kareem Nikoui Max Soviak U.S. Marines
- Location: CAMP PENDLETON NORTH, CALIFORNIA + BERLIN HEIGHTS, OHIO + NORCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- City: CAMP PENDLETON NORTH, CALIFORNIA + BERLIN HEIGHTS, OHIO + NORCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- Country: US
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,United States,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA003ES718HZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.S. Defense Department has not formally announced the names of the service members killed in the deadly airport suicide bombing at Kabul airport in Afghanistan but details of their lives began to emerge on Friday (August 27) as family and friends were notified.
Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, a 20-year-old Marine, who the previous day had sent home a video of himself giving candy to Afghan children, was among 13 U.S. service members killed in the bombing. Others included an expectant father from Wyoming, the son of a California police officer and a medic from Ohio.
Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, carried out during a massive evacuation of U.S. and other foreign nationals as well as some Afghan civilians following the Taliban takeover.
Also among the troops killed was Rylee McCollum of Wyoming, a Marine who was married with a baby due in three weeks, his sister, Roice, said in a Facebook post on Friday.
Along with wrestling, McCollum played football before graduating from Wyoming's Jackson Hole High School in 2019.
Navy medic Max Soviak's death was confirmed on Twitter by U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the medic's home state.
In Soviak's Ohio hometown of Berlin Heights, Mayor Connie Ward told Reuters on Friday that the community was planning to display 1,200 American flags across town to show their support, but that they were going to give the family their privacy for now to grieve.
"What we're trying to do is first and foremost be respectful of family and their wishes, which are now to be left alone," she said.
Hunter Lopez, 22, another Marine killed in the blast, was the son of a captain and a deputy in the Riverside County, California, sheriff's office, according to a Facebook post by Sheriff Chad Bianco. Lopez had planned on following in his parents' footsteps and becoming a deputy when he returned home, the post said.
Thursday's suicide blast was the most lethal incident for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a decade.
Western forces running the Afghan airlift braced on Saturday (August 28) for more attacks after the United States launched a drone strike, apparently killing an Islamic State "planner" in the Kabul attack.
(Production: Megan Jelinger, Mike Blake, Mana Rabiee)
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