Biden Receives Our bodies of Service Members Killed in Kabul Bombing
The transfers started in the late morning and lasted almost 40 minutes and ended after noon. Again and again soldiers in different shades of green carried transfer cases hung with flags down the ramp of the transporter that was on the runway opposite Air Force One. First came the Army, then the Marines, then the Navy. The delivery teams, as they are called, worked every three minutes and marched in front of a host of dignitaries, including the president, foreign and defense ministers, and several senior military officials. They carried the remains of the van and lifted them through the rear loading doors of four gray vans.
The President stood with his hand over his heart as he passed. When several Marines returned empty-handed to the C-17’s belly to retrieve the next remains, Mr. Biden broadened his stance and clasped his hands on his belt or behind his back. Often he bowed his head with narrowed eyes, as if in prayer.
Across from him sat rows of family members of the Fallen, so many of them that Dover Base could not fit them all into their purpose-built rooms for the next of kin.
The fallen soldiers who returned to Dover on Sunday were Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City; Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, from Lawrence, Mass .; Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, from Sacramento, California; Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California; Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha; Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Ind .; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyo .; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California; Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio; and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
The President and First Lady, Jill Biden, met with the families of these soldiers on Sunday morning. They then participated in 13 transfers – 11 for families who chose to watch the media watch the remains of their loved ones returning home, and two for families who kept their transfers private.