ST. LOUIS — One of the 13 service members killed in Thursday’s suicide bombings in Afghanistan is from Wentzville, Missouri.
St. Louis radio station KMOX talked with the father of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz. Mark Schmitz told KMOX the Marines notified his family about 2:40 a.m. about his son’s death.
Schmitz was deployed to Afghanistan from Jordan. This was his first deployment. Mark Schmitz told KMOX his son always wanted to be a soldier.
“His life meant so much more. I’m so incredibly devastated that I won’t be able to see the man that he was very quickly growing into becoming,” Mark Schmitz told the radio station.
State Rep. Nick Schroer posted about Schmitz on Facebook. He said Schmitz, “paid the ultimate sacrifice yesterday serving our nation. This young marine was from St. Charles County and is a true American hero. Keep his family in your prayers today.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also spoke out on Schmitz’s sacrifice, saying, “He put his life on the line protecting our service members and allies. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his bravery.”
President Joe Biden is vowing to avenge the deaths of 13 American troops and dozens of Afghans in attacks at the Kabul airport that thrust the White House deeper into crisis over a chaotic and deadly end to a 20-year war. Retribution, however, will be harder with fewer U.S. intelligence assets in Afghanistan.
In an emotional address after the attacks, Biden declared to the extremists responsible: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
The president, speaking from the White House Thursday, said the U.S.-led evacuation of Americans and others from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would proceed, and indeed more than 12,000 people were airlifted from Kabul in the last 24 hours, as of Friday morning. U.S. military officials have said they are braced for more attempted attacks by the group Biden said was responsible for Thursday’s attack — the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.
Crowds outside the airport appeared as thick as ever Friday, despite the suicide attacks Thursday.
The U.S. warned more attacks could come ahead of President Joe Biden’s fast-approaching deadline to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The Taliban threw up new security measures to try to hold back crowds from the airport gates.