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Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz and other service members killed in Afghan bombing awarded Purple Hearts

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz and other service members killed in Afghan bombing awarded Purple Hearts

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WASHINGTON — Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville is among 13 service members who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

Schmitz’s body was escorted Wednesday from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to Baue Funeral Home, 3950 West Clay Street in St. Charles.

In addition, the sailor killed in the suicide bomber attack during the evacuation mission in Afghanistan late last month has been posthumously promoted, according to the Navy. And he and the other 12 service members who died during the attack have been awarded Purple Hearts.

The 13 troops were killed Aug. 26 as they were helping to screen Afghans and others at the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport. At least 169 Afghans were also killed in the bombing, as they struggled to get into the airport and on flights out of the country.

Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, was promoted to the rank of hospital corpsman third class, and in addition to the Purple Heart was also awarded the Fleet Marine Force Corpsman warfare badge. He was assigned to the 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

“Petty Officer Soviak gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country,” said Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, adding that his skills as a hospital corpsman and devotion to the mission warranted the promotion and recognition.

Others awarded the Purple Heart are Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, and 10 Marines: Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California; Cpl. Daegan Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska; Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana; Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas; Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming; Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.

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