Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, cosponsored legislation to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. military service members who were recently killed in Afghanistan, he announced Friday, Sept. 3.
The legislation will award the Congressional Gold Medal 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.
“These brave service members gave their lives while protecting the lives of others and they will be remembered as heroes. Awarding these service members the Congressional Gold MedaI will formally recognize and honor these American heroes that died giving the last full measure of devotion,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “Going forward, we must honor their sacrifice by finishing their mission of evacuating every American and Afghan ally still stranded in Afghanistan. We must leave no one behind.”