A Marine from the St. Louis area was among the 13 American service members and more than a hundred Afghans killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to the man’s father and a U.S. senator.
Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.
“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.
Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.
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Schmitz was stationed in Jordan on his first deployment and was sent to Afghanistan in recent weeks, his father said.
“As his parents, of course, we were terrified,” Schmitz said of his son, a 2019 high school graduate. “I don’t have words for how upset we are.”
He added, “He was probably one of the coolest, unique individuals I ever met. I’m very honored that I could call him my son.”
“Please pray for Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz and his family today,” State Rep. Nick Schroer said on Twitter. “He is an American hero from St. Charles County.”
The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said. At least 18 U.S. service members were injured. It was the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.
A Wyoming Marine expecting a child in three weeks was among the dead.
About 169 Afghan people died, officials told the Associated Press. CBS News was reporting that number at 170.
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