08:09 EDT 29 Aug 2021 , updated 14:31 EDT 29 Aug 2021
- Joe Biden bowed traveled to Dover AFB on Sunday morning 13 fallen US troops who were killed in an ISIS-K suicide attack on Kabul airport returnekd home
- President met with families of the fallen before the ‘dignified transfer’ of their remains
- Biden said Saturday their ‘bravery and selflessness’ helped get more than 100,000 people to safety
- The Pentagon said the last troops in Kabul had begun their final withdrawal
The mother of a Marine killed in the Kabul airport attack called President Joe Biden a ‘dementia-riddent piece of crap’ as the president meets with families of the 13 fallen service members on Sunday.
‘My son was one of the Marines that died yesterday,’ Kathy McCollum said in a radio interview on Friday of her 20-year-old late son Rylee.
‘[He was] getting ready to come home from freaking Jordan to be with his wife to watch the birth of his son,’ McCollum said. ‘And that sackless, dementia ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die.’
‘I woke up at four’o’clock this morning to Marines at my door telling me my son was dead,’ she said in the emotional account.
President Biden made an unannounced trip to Delaware on Sunday morning for a ceremony to honor the service members killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber.
He stood in silence, his right hand to his chest, as a succession of flag draped transfer cases were carried past him from a C-17 Globemaster plane.
The 13 killed on Thursday were Navy corpsman Max Soviak, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, and Marines Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Daegan Page, Taylor Hoover, Humberto Sanchez, Johanny Rosario, Dylan Merola and Nicole Gee.
Their remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, at 8am for a ‘dignified transfer,; when fallen troops’ return to American soil is marked by a solemn movement.
It was the sort of grief-stricken day he wanted to consign to history by ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
But instead he and the first lady spent the first part of the morning meeting privately with the families of the fallen.
He then walked with other dignitaries – including his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and the heads of the military and the first lady – across the air base apron and up the ramp of the C-17.
Inside they spent a minute in prayer, before emerging and taking up their positions beside the plane to watch the bodies being removed.
Relatives of the fallen were hidden from view behind a line of buses. Their presence became obvious as the second flag-draped transfer case emerged from the plane to the sound of anguished howling.
Even though the proceedings were outside, everyone present wore masks.
Days before that, Kathy McCollum called Biden a ‘b***h’ for talking about ‘diplomatic crap with Taliban terrorists who just freaking blew up my son’ rather than apologizing for ‘failing’ his troops.
‘My son is gone, and I just want all you Democrats who cheated in the election, or who voted for him legitimately, you just killed my son,’ she said. ‘With a dementia ridden piece of crap who doesn’t even know he’s in the White House who still thinks he’s a senator.’
The death toll was the highest for any single incident since 2011 and Biden has been accused by some of the troops’ families of putting them in harm’s way.
In a statement on Saturday, Biden said: ‘The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others.’
‘Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far. May God protect our troops and all those standing watch in these dangerous days.’
Their deaths, as they protected an airlift of Americans and vulnerable Afghans, brought into stark focus the risks of ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the potential political cost to Biden.
The withdrawal of U.S. forces allowed the Taliban to regain power, after an almost 20-year war and the cost of 2,400 American military lives.
International allies have openly accused the president of blindsiding them with his rush to exit by August 31.
And his handling of the crisis – blaming Afghan troops for failing to fight the Taliban and his predecessor’s peace deal with the enemy – triggered withering criticism from all sides at home.
On Sunday, he faced the most difficult part of his decision, watching for himself as 13 transfer cases were due to arrive at Dover.
The Pentagon’s policy is to return America’s fallen troops to their loved ones as quickly as possible.