Met with a befitting hostility from the families of our 13 heroes lost in last Thursday’s suicide bombing in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday to participate in the dignified transfer of remains.
“I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!” one unidentified sister of a fallen troop yelled across the tarmac shortly after the ceremony’s conclusion, according to Mark Schmitz, father of the fallen Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz.
The dignified transfer had ended, but the grief hadn’t.
It was yet another display of the immense frustration, anger and anguish plaguing our heroes’ loved ones in light of last week’s tragedy.
These Gold Star families who witnessed Biden’s disrespectful gesture, who listened to him talk more about his son Beau than their own fallen warriors, who knew where they could rightfully place their blame, had not yet scorned the president enough.
Schmitz grieved and expressed his ire for Biden in his own way, flashing a picture of his son during his private meeting with the president that day.
“Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12. And take some time to learn their stories,” he told Biden, according to the Post.
The outlet noted Biden, who didn’t appear to like Schmitz’s comments, flippantly fired back with, “I do know their stories.”
Schmitz also shared his account of the unidentified sister in despair who shouted across the tarmac at Biden that she hoped he would “burn in hell” for what his shoddy withdrawal policy caused.
“I can’t fault her for it,” he told the Post. “We all lost somebody.”
Members of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum’s family — except for his widowed wife Jiennah — elected to skip out on their chance to meet with Biden, saying they “did not want to speak to him,” according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
“You cannot kneel on our flag and pretend you care about our troops,” McCollum’s sister Roice said.
“You can’t f*** up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry. This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands. The thousands of Afghans who will suffer and be tortured is a direct result of his incompetence.”
She and her father fled the room before Biden entered. Her sister Cheyenne reportedly stayed behind with Jiennah, but left when she saw that Biden was being “fake.”
Cheyenne said Jiennah wanted to see if Biden would give her a “sincere conversation or apology.”
But he didn’t. Jiennah said his spiel seemed “scripted” and that it touched more on his own son Beau (who served in Iraq, but did not die while serving) than on the loved one they were grieving.
But Biden carried that disrespect with him to the tarmac as well.
“The checking of his watch, that didn’t happen just once,” Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Jr. said, according to the Daily Mail.
“That happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one, all 13, he looked down at his watch.
“As a father, you know, seeing that and the disrespect,” he said.
He continued a moment later, describing the repeated gesture as “the most disrespectful thing [he’d] ever seen.”
These families are hurting. They are angry. They deserve to be angry, and they deserve to have their voices heard.
They’ve been bombarded with grief and, as they’re going through hell, Biden opts to disrespect them time and again.
What could be so important that Biden would elect to repeatedly refer back to his watch during a ceremony honoring 13 of our most courageous and selfless? What could be more important than honoring these men and women and their grieving families?
Nothing. And I’m sure Biden knows that.
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