A former boy scout, a newlywed who would become a dad in a few weeks.
But also the 23-year-old NICOLE GEE, the protagonist of a photo that has gone viral, holding a child in her arms during the evacuations.
The 13 Marines killed in the attack on Kabul airport were all very young, in their twenties or so.
They were therefore only children when Al Qaeda struck America on 11 September 2001, effectively opening the war in Afghanistan that broke their lives within days of the withdrawal.
The Pentagon has published their names, among which there are also those of two women: in addition to Nicole Gee there is also JOHANNY ROSARIO.
The shot that immortalizes Gee cradling a baby, published by the girl on Instagram last week with the words 'I love my job', has become one of the symbols of the US military's effort in favor of Afghan civilians. The bodies of the 13 victims are now making the last journey home: after a technical stop in Germany, the plane carrying them will arrive in Delaware, where family members will be waiting for the flag-wrapped coffins. It is from families that they filter their stories. Steve Nikoui, father of 20-year-old Californian KAREEM NIKOUI, recounted the communication he received in person from two "obviously shocked" marines and did not spare criticism of President Joe Biden for managing the withdrawal from Afghanistan: "He turned his back on our boys ".Criticism of the White House also came from Mark Schmitz, father of 20-year-old JARED SCHMITZ, who had been in the Marines since 2019. "What happened in Afghanistan shows that you have to be afraid of your leaders," he commented.
TAYLOR HOOVER and DYLAN MEROLA were among the American victims of the massacre. With them was RYLEE MCCOLLUM, 20 years old and newly married: she had said yes in February and was expecting her first child. Since he was a child, his family told him, he had always wanted to be a marine, "he'd been repeating it since he was two years old ...". DAVID ESPINOZA called his mother in Texas on Wednesday, the day before the bombing that killed him. "I love you," were his last words to his mother, Elizabeth Holguin. Instead, 22-year-old HUNTER LOPEZ came from California, who dreamed of joining the Riverside County Sheriff's Office on his return from Afghanistan, following in his parents' footsteps. Shortly before the attack onairport also MAXTON SOVIAK had had a video conversation with his parents and had reassured his mother: "Don't worry mom, the kids won't let anything happen to me," said the woman in tears. DAEGAN WILLIAM-TYELER PAGE, on the other hand, was a former scout, Blackhawks fan and animal lover: once his mission in Kabul was over he would have liked to return home to California. RYAN KNAUSS, of Knoxville, Tennessee, had already announced in elementary school that he wanted to become a Marine - a dream he fulfilled by joining the Army shortly after graduating from high school. Before wearing the uniform, HUMBERTO SANCHEZ, 22 years old from Indiana, was known in his small town of Logansport for his ability to always get a smile from everyone. "We are devastated.He wasn't even 30 and had his whole life ahead, ”said Chris Martin, the mayor of Logansport