RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Mourners in California mentioned prayers and their closing goodbyes Saturday to 3 Marines killed in final month’s bombing in Afghanistan.
Family and mates of Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui packed a church in Riverside to rejoice the lifetime of the 20-year-old Marine from Norco.
He was one in all 13 U.S. troops killed in a horrific suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, which additionally claimed the lives of greater than 160 Afghans, on Aug. 26.
Nikoui despatched movies to his household hours earlier than he died, exhibiting himself interacting with youngsters in Afghanistan.
Phil Wozniak, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Norco, mentioned Nikoui pulled three households to security and went again to the airport to rescue a toddler when the bomb went off.
“It didn’t shock me that these have been his final moments,” his sister Shyler Chappell mentioned.
She mentioned her brother had wished to turn into a Marine “for so long as I can bear in mind” and went on to affix the Junior ROTC at his highschool.
At a memorial service in Palm Springs for Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, mourners famous his closing heroic act — rescuing youngsters from a rioting mob earlier than the blast took his life.
“He died a hero saving the lives of these he didn’t know,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Brause mentioned.
Lopez was a part of a particular disaster response staff despatched to supply safety and assist U.S. State Department officers evacuate 1000’s of Americans and Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban because the 20-year warfare drew to an in depth, the Riverside Press Enterprise reported.
He had deliberate to comply with in the footsteps of his mother and father and embark on a profession in regulation enforcement after his navy deployment. As a teen, he had been in the Explorer program on the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the place his mom is a deputy and his father is a captain.
“Our household is overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection and condolences we’ve obtained in the wake of Hunter’s sudden passing,” the mother and father mentioned in an announcement. “Please know that Hunter wore the United States Marine uniform with love and pleasure, and it is extremely obvious that the group will always remember his sacrifice and our household.”
In Northern California, the aunt of Sgt. Nicole Gee remarked on the long-lasting picture of her niece cradling an Afghan child in her arms. Cheryl Juels advised mourners gathered in a Roseville church that the picture was taken close to the top of a protracted, sleep-deprived shift, when somebody handed Gee a child to consolation.
To calm the infant down amid the chaos on the airport, Gee blew softly on the little lady’s face and smiled at her.
“She cherished that she was making a distinction, and he or she actually would’ve given her life for that one single child,” Juels mentioned.
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