Father of Marine killed in Kabul blast says meeting with Biden ‘didn’t go well’
“Well, initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him, but then I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt and it didn’t go well,” Mark Schmitz said in a Monday interview.
Schmitz’s 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, was killed last week when a suicide bomber targeted the Kabul airport.
Biden “talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn’t sit well with me,” Schmitz added, referring to Biden’s son Beau Biden, an Iraq War veteran who died of brain cancer in 2015.
Republicans and Democrats alike have rebuked the president for the messy Afghanistan withdrawal that resulted in the deaths of 13 service members at the Kabul airport.
Schmitz told The Washington Post that the military leaders who talked to him did far more than the president, who he said continued to frustrate him by reportedly checking his watch multiple times while the bodies of the fallen soldiers were taken off the plane.
“I actually leaned into my son’s mother’s ear and I said ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time…’ and [that] was probably only four times in,” Schmitz recalled. “I couldn’t look at him anymore after that, considering, especially, the time and why we were there. I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”
Schmitz told the Post that one family member yelled at Biden at the end of the meeting, saying, “I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!”
Darin Hoover, whose son, Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, died in the attack, refused to meet with Biden.
“We said absolutely not. We didn’t want to deal with him. We didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be,” Hoover told Hannity.
Hoover said he was told by one of his son’s master sergeants that “this was preventable.” The father added, “They left them over there. They let them down.”
Of the 13 soldiers who died, 11 were from the Marine Corps, one was from the Army and one was from the Navy.
“I said, ‘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,’” Schmitz told the Post about the meeting. “ ‘And take some time to learn their stories.’ ”