Fathers Of Marines Killed In Kabul Blast Condemn ‘Disrespectful’ Biden’s Reaction As Bodies Return Home

by : Hannah Smith on : 31 Aug 2021 17:37
Fathers Of Marines Killed In Kabul Blast Condemn 'Disrespectful' Biden's Reaction As Bodies Return HomePA Images

Two fathers whose sons were among 13 US soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul last week have criticised President Biden’s appearance at a ceremony marking the return of their remains to US soil.

Mark Schmitz, whose son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, claimed that his meeting with Biden at Dover Air Force Base ‘didn’t go well,’ while the father of another victim – Staff Sgt Darin Taylor Hoover Jr. – said his family refused to meet with the president.


Schmitz told the Washington Post that he handed the president a photo of his son, telling him ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12. And take some time to learn their stories.’

President Biden at ceremony transferring the remains of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan (PA Images)PA Images

The father later told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he too had initially been in two minds over whether to meet the president.

Though he eventually decided to go ahead with the meeting, he was left angered by the president’s response, recalling that Biden spent more time talking about his own son, Beau, a former soldier who died of brain cancer in 2015.


‘I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt,’ he said, adding ‘He talked a bit more about his own son than we did my own son in that didn’t sit well with me.’

Meanwhile, Dustin Hoover Sr, who refused to meet with the president, accused Biden of being ‘disrespectful’ during the ceremony, claiming he ‘looked down at his watch’ several times as the coffins were loaded off the airplane.

The coffin of a US soldier killed in Kabul suicide bombing (PA Images)PA Images

‘As a father, you know, seeing that and the disrespect…considering especially the time and why we were there, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen,’ he told Hannity.


The White House said it would not comment on the conversations held between President Biden and the families of the victims, describing them as ‘private.’

Schmitz told the Post that he acknowledged meeting the families ‘had to be one of the hardest things [Biden’s] ever had to do,’ but said ‘you can’t run up and hug someone as if you had nothing to do with it. It’s not going to work that way when you’re commander in chief.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Afghanistan, no-article-matching, Now, President Biden, US Military


The Washington Post
  1. The Washington Post

    ‘Don’t you ever forget that name’: Biden’s tough meeting with grieving relatives