U.S. Marines whose comrades died defending Kabul airport return home By Reuters
© Reuters. U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan arrived at their base Sunday. They were happy to hug their loved ones, but they still felt saddened by the deaths of nine Marines.
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Reuters ) – U.S. Marines were deployed to Afghanistan on Sunday. They embraced their families and cried after losing nine Marines in combat.
Marines with the 2nd Battalion and 1st Marines Regiment had been on duty at Kabul’s airport when an explosives-laden suicide bomber struck, killing 13 U.S. soldiers as well as scores of Afghans.
The 13 dead included nine Marines of the 2/1 Marine Corps and one Navy sailor, both also stationed at Camp Pendleton. An additional two Marines were also killed, as well an Army soldier.
These fallen were part of a different company than the 282 Marines, who returned to Camp Pendleton (the largest Marine base on West Coast), on Sunday. It is located about 40-miles (65 km) north San Diego.
Although the Marine Corps denied reporters access, some spoke briefly with media.
Allen Frazier, a former Marine said about his son Corporal Jeffrey Frazier that he had come all the way to Mississippi.
Frazier did not comment on the ending of the Afghanistan mission and said, “I’m here to see my boy.”
(For a profile of some the fallen, click: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-marine-killed-afghanistan-blast-was-newlywed-wyoming-2021-08-27)
After the Taliban took Kabul and control over Afghanistan in less than 10 days, they killed all Marines. This was a remarkable feat of military maneuvering after nearly twenty years of war.
The Marines tried to guard the airport and screen people, patting them down for weapons, during the chaotic U.S. Airlift. 124,000 people were eventually evacuated, including U.S. citizens and Afghans who helped the U.S. military effort.
Scott Wiles, age 58, was part the motorcycle escort, which followed the Marines on the final 50 (80 km) miles of their trip home. Scott stated that it was crucial to help returning vets, in particular with the suicide rate so high among them.
The Patriot Guard Riders is his group and aims to cheer them up with some fun.
They are going through a difficult time. Wiles stated that some of their colleagues have been lost – people they had trained, volunteered with, and shared training with.” We’re here because we are that bright spot, and that they won’t fall into that pit.
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