Senators Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Afghanistan

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Members of the U.S. Navy Honor Guard transport the casket of Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak at Morman-Hinman-Tanner Funeral Home, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Berlin Heights, Ohio. Soviak was one of 13 U.S. troops killed in a horrific suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport on Aug. 26. (AP Photo/David Dermer).

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Michael Bennet and Senator John Hickenlooper joined a group of senators in introducing a bipartisan bill which would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 American troops who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, August 26.

“Our hearts break for the 13 troops who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation last month in Afghanistan. It is a debt that can never be repaid,” said Bennet. “They carried out their mission with bravery, dedication, and distinction. With this legislation, we formally recognize their heroic service and sacrifice.”

“These 13 servicemembers selflessly gave their lives for their country.  While nothing can match their sacrifice, the Congressional Gold Medal is a small way to recognize their bravery,” said Hickenlooper. 

Bennet, Hickenlooper, and their colleagues are pushing for Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss to each receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

The text of the bill is available HERE.

In addition to Bennet and Hickenlooper, the legislation is co-sponsored by the following U.S. Senators:

  • Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
  • Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
  • Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
  • James Lankford (R-Okla.)
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
  • Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
  • Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)
  • Jim Risch (R-Idaho)
  • Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.)
  • Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.)
  • Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
  • Todd Young (R-Ind.)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
  • Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)
  • Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
  • Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
  • John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
  • Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)
  • John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
  • John Thune (R-S.D.)
  • Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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