Mark Schmitz, whose son was killed in Kabul last week, described his grueling encounter with Biden.
“Take the time to learn their stories,” Schmitz told Biden of those killed, according to the Washington Post.
Thirteen US servicemen were among the 100+ killed in the attack.
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Father of US Navy who was killed in Kabul airport attack last week said he challenged President Joe Biden to “learn the stories” from victims at ceremony during which the remains of the servicemen were returned to the United States.
Mark Schmitz’s son, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, was one of 13 U.S. servicemen helping evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghans killed on August 27 in what the Pentagon called a suicide bombing by an ISIS affiliate.
The attack killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US servicemen.
The remains of the military were returned to the United States in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday, which Biden attended.
Afterward, Biden met with the grieving families privately, including Mark Schmitz.
He told the Washington Post that he initially decided he didn’t want to talk to Biden, whose mismanagement he blamed in the withdrawal from Afghanistan for his son’s death, but then changed his mind. opinion.
Schmitz said Biden opened up about losing his son Beau Biden, an Iraqi veteran, to cancer six years ago. But Schmitz said he wanted to talk about Jared instead, and he and his wife pulled out a photo of their son to show the president.
“I said, ‘Never forget that name. Never forget that face. Never forget the names of the other 12,'” Schmitz told The Post. “‘And take the time to learn their stories.'”
But according to Schmitz, the president didn’t like it and bristled as he replied, “I know their stories.”
Schmitz also relayed details of the meeting with Biden in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night.
“It didn’t go well. He talked a little more about his own son than my son, and that didn’t suit me,” Schmitz said.
Biden said his personal experience of the tragedy, with his wife and daughter killed in a car crash in 1972 and his adult son dying of cancer decades later, allows him to understand the pain of those who mourn. loss of loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic, or military families.
But he received much criticism for his handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban seizure of power weeks after the US withdrew most of its power. army in early July.
Thousands shouted to flee the country on flights from Kabul, where the United States had to rely on a security perimeter set up around the airport by the Taliban to shield against attacks terrorists.
In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, Steve Nikoui, whose US Marine son Kareem Nikoui was also killed in last week’s attack, expressed his anger at Biden.
“They sent my son there as a paper pusher and then took the Taliban out to provide security,” Nikoui said. “I blame my own military commanders… Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”
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