These Are The US Service Members Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice In The Kabul Attack

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Thirteen U.S. service members were killed Thursday in the Kabul terrorist attack. Seven of the American heroes have been identified thus far.

Here are the heroic service members that made the ultimate sacrifice:

Kareem Nikoui

The young California native served as a Marine and was identified by his heartbroken father, Steve Nikoui, according to the Daily Beast. Steve told the outlet he spent most of Thursday glued to the television not knowing whether his son was among the victims.

“I stayed home from work yesterday because there was that attack and I knew he was there,” he recounted, explaining how at about 7:15 p.m., “these young men walked up” and delivered the gut wrenching news that his son was among those killed.

“I was actually trying to console them,” Nikoui reportedly said, noting the Marines were “more choked up than me.”

Steve said his son “loved what he was doing” and had always dreamt of being a Marine.

Max Soviak

Soviak was a Navy Corpsman who was in his early 20s, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Soviak, who graduated high school in 2017, was killed alongside his fellow service members. (RELATED: ‘Another Terror Attack In Kabul Is Likely,’ National Security Team Tells Biden)

His sister remembered him as “beautiful” and “charming” in a tribute on Instagram.

“My beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother was killed yesterday helping to save lives. He was a fucking medic. There to help people. And now he is gone and my family will never be the same.”

“He was just a kid,” she continued.


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David Lee Espinoza

The 20-year-old Marine from Rio Bravo, Texas, was identified Friday by KGNS. Espinoza spent his entire life in Rio Bravo, according to the report.

Mayor Gilberg Aguilar, Jr., said the city is “mourning the loss of one of our own,” in a post on Facebook.

Rylee McCollum

The newlywed Marine who was expecting a baby in three weeks tragically perished in the attack Thursday, according to the Casper Star Tribune.

McCollum was on his first deployment when evacuations began and was said to be manning the checkpoint area at the airport when the blast went off, according to the report.

His sister, Roice, said he always wanted to serve.

“He wanted to be a Marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots,” his sister said, according to the report. “He was determined to be in infantry … Rylee wanted to be a history teacher and a wrestling coach when he finished serving his country. He’s a tough, kind, loving kid who made an impact on everyone he met.”

“Rylee will always be a hero not just for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country, but for the way he impacted every life around for the better.”

Jared Schmitz

The twenty-year-old Marine was on his first deployment, having been sent to Afghanistan from Jordan, KMOX confirmed. Schmitz’s father, Mark, said he was notified at 2:40 a.m., that his son was among those dead.

“The Marines came by last night at two-forty in the morning to give us the horrific news,” his father reportedly said.

“This was something he always wanted to do and I never seen a young man train as hard as he did to be the best soldier he could be.”

“His life meant so much more,” his father, who reportedly broke down in tears, told KMOX. “I’m so incredibly devastated that I won’t be able to see the man that he was very quickly growing into becoming.”

“Be afraid of our leadership or lack thereof. Pray every day for the soldiers that are putting their lives at risk, doing what they love which is protecting all of us” he added.

Hunter Lopez

Lopez, the son of Riverside County Sheriff’s Captain Herman Lopez and Deputy Alicia Lopez, was a Marine who joined in 2017, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Lopez planned on joining the sheriff’s department upon his return from his current deployment, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Daegan Page

23-year-old Omaha Marine Corporal Daegan Page, of the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, made the ultimate sacrifice Thursday in the Kabul terrorist attack, his family confirmed to KETV.

Page attended Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska, KETV reported. His family said in a statement that he had a “tough outer shell and giant heart,” according to KETV.

Ryan Knauss

Knauss was a 23-year-old Army Staff Sgt. from Knoxville who “loved his country,” his grandfather told WATE. The grandfather told the outlet his grandson served five years training Psychology Operations and that the family was informed of his death early Friday morning.

“Ryan Knauss gave his life outside Hamid Karzai International Airport helping people he didn’t know get to safety. This is what true heroism looks like and Ryan’s sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Republican Rep. Tim Burchett tweeted.

Family remembered Knauss as always wanting to be a Marine, according to WBIR.

Taylor Hoover 

The 31-year-old Staff Sgt. of Utah had served 11 years, according to The Washington Post.

“He is a hero. He gave his life protecting those that can’t protect themselves, doing what he loved serving his country,” Hoover’s father, Darin, told The Washington Post.

Hoover said several Marines have reached out to him following Taylor’s passing, remembering Taylor as a great sergeant.

“They look back on him and say that they’ve learned so much from him. One heck of a leader.”

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please return for updates.