A rare unanimous bill was passed by the Senate to award the Congressional Gold Medal to US soldiers killed outside Kabul airport days before the final evacuation. The bill is now at President Biden’s desk for approval.
The Congressional Gold Medal bill went through the House unanimously at the end of October, a couple of months after 13 servicemen were killed by suicide bombers as they aided in the evacuation efforts from Afghanistan’s main airport.
The legislation mentioned that the US service members had gone beyond their call to protect the US and other civilians. It was an enormously dangerous period as thousands of Taliban militia were rapidly gaining ground and the whole country descended into chaos.
Dozens, mostly civilians were killed on that day as a suicide bomber claiming allegiance to ISIS-K blew himself up near the airport gate.
Congressional Gold Medal Bill Passed Unanimously By Bipartisan Group From Both House And Senate
The Congressional Gold Medal bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of over 30 senators in September. It called for honoring posthumously the 13 service members killed outside the gates of the Kabul Airport by a suicide bomber of the ISIS-K as they assisted in the final evacuation of troops and civilians from Afghanistan.
Among the service personnel killed were 11 marines, 1 Navy Hospital man, and 1 army staff sergeant: Staff Sergeant Darin Hoover (31), Corporals Hunter Lopez (22), Daegan Page (23), and Humberto Sanchez (22), Lance Corporals David Espinoza (20), Rylee McCollum (20), Dylan Merola (20), and Kareem Nikoui (20), Sergeants Nicole Gee (23) and Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Navy Hospitalman Maxton Soviak (22), and Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss (23).
The effort to pass the Congressional Gold Medal bill was led by Dem. Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) and Rep. Senator Steve Daines. In a statement, Daines said that the US Senate moved to recognize the service, sacrifice, and courage of the 13 young men and women killed in Afghanistan. He said that they gave their all for our freedom.