Fallen service members to posthumously receive Congressional Gold Medal under new law

Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) co-sponsored the legislation
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:55 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, DC. (WECT) - More than a dozen U.S. military members killed during the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, will posthumously receive the Congressional Gold Medal under a bill signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden. Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) was one of the original co-sponsors of the bill, H.R. 5142, introduced by Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-Michigan) and approved by a wide bi-partisan margin in both the House and Senate.

Eleven marines, one sailor and one soldier died when a suicide bomber set off an explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26. Under the new law, the Congressional Gold Medal will be awarded to Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole Gee, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Hospitalman Maxton Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss.

Army Staff Sgt. Knauss was based at Fort Bragg, and Sgt. Nicole Gee was assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune.

“I am proud to announce the legislation to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. servicemembers who lost their lives in Afghanistan has been signed into law,” Rep. Rouzer said in an email news release. “These brave troops will now receive the highest award bestowed by Congress for helping Americans and many Afghan allies and their families safely escape the country – even in the face of great danger. Their heroism will not be forgotten.”

Click here to see the entire text of the bill.

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