Four Californians Are Killed In The Kabul Attacks
Four of the 13 U.S. service members killed in this week’s terrorist bombings in Kabul were Californians, including three from the Inland Empire.
The Department of Defense on Saturday released the names of all 13 who died.
The Californians are:
- Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee , 22, of Sacramento
- Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio
- Marine Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco
- Lance Corporal Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga
In addition, Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, was stationed at Camp Pendleton.
There’s now a GoFundMe page to raise money to help the Merola Family pay funeral expenses has raised more than $23,000, exceeding the original $15,000 goal.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered flags at state buildings to fly at half-staff.
"California joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss," he said in a statement.
“Our heroic troops gave their lives to protect others amid harrowing and dangerous conditions," he said, "and we will never forget their bravery and selfless sacrifice in service to our nation."
Since the attacks that left nearly 200 people dead, including the U.S. service members, the Pentagon has reported killing two high-profile ISIS-K targets in a drone strike. The group was behind the terror attacks and has been identified as a continuing threat in the region.
President Biden had set an Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops. Although military officials say the Kabul airport remains under credible threats, evacuation operations have continued. Roughly 100 planes are leaving the Kabul airport each day.
"We do have multiple aircraft coming in, parking on all the ramps, making sure people get evacuated as they are awaiting their turn," Master Sgt. Kevin Haunschild told NPR.