Illinois State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) issued a statement today reacting to the two-year anniversary of the final day of the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Thirteen U.S. service members were killed after an attack at the Kabul Airport on August 26, 2021. The soldiers were tasked to assist with the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy, U.S. citizens, special immigrant visa applicants, and Afghans who provided invaluable assistance to them.
“The United States had spent two decades engaged militarily, diplomatically, and developmentally in Afghanistan. This was all undone in chaotic and deadly fashion thanks to an ill-advised and rushed withdrawal plan put forward by the Biden administration. The administration’s actions emboldened a hostile enemy takeover and put thousands of innocent Afghans and Americans in imminent danger, along with our brave men and women of the military. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of these brave soldiers who were put directly in harm’s way during this evacuation process. Today, we honor the memory of these service members, which included 11 Marines, one Navy corpsman, and one Army soldier. Please keep these fallen heroes in your thoughts, including Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss.”