WASHINGTON (WNCT) — The Department of Defense has released the names of the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan on Thursday. One of those who died was stationed at Camp Lejeune.
The Department of Defense said in a memo that the 13 service members, 11 Marines, one from the Army and one from the Navy, “were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They died Aug. 26, 2021, as the result of an enemy attack while supporting non-combatant evacuation operations in Kabul, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation. “
The Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune was Sgt. Nicole L. Gee. She was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune.
Gee, was a native of Sacramento, Calif., entered active duty in the Marine Corps in 2017. According to information provided from Camp Lejeune, she was a ground electronics transmission systems maintainer assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, a subordinate unit of Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Combat Logistics Battalion 24 is currently deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the logistics combat element.
Her previous assignments include: recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina; School of Infantry; East in Camp Lejeune; Aviation Accession & Primary Military Occupational Specialty School in Pensacola, Florida; and Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School in Twentynine Palms, California.
Sgt. Gee’s military awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals. Her military schools include Recruit Training, Marine Combat Training, Air Traffic Controller Training, Basic Electronics Training, Ground Radio Repair Training, Lance Corporal Leadership Seminar, Corporals’ Course, and Martial Arts Instructor Course.
A GoFundMe page to help pay for the expenses for Gee’s funeral has been set up and has already raised thousands of dollars. Gee’s husband, Jarod, is also a Marine, the GoFundMe page says. It does not indicate where he is currently serving.
The Associated Press quoted in its story Sgt. Mallory Harrison, who lived with Gee for three years and called her a “sister forever” and best friend, wrote about the magnitude of her loss.
“I can’t quite describe the feeling I get when I force myself to come back to reality & think about how I’m never going to see her again,” Harrison wrote on Facebook. “How her last breath was taken doing what she loved — helping people. … Then there was an explosion. And just like that, she’s gone.”
Gee’s Instagram page shows another photo of her in fatigues, holding a rifle next to a line of people walking into the belly of a large transport plane. She wrote: “escorting evacuees onto the bird.”
Onslow County Government released a notice on its Facebook page on Saturday. In says, in part: “Onslow County issues our condolences for their friends and family, no matter where they are stationed or what branch they were from.”
The Facebook post also mentions the Freedom Fountain “remains in mourning status with only the Freedom Jet operating at this time.”
Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips also released a statement on the deaths of Gee and the other military members.
“On behalf of the City of Jacksonville and the City Council, we mourn the loss of the military service members including US Marines and a Navy Corpsman killed in Kabul on August 26.
“The loss of one of our own here in this Community is deeply felt. Sgt Nicole Gee, a US Marine stationed at MCB Camp Lejeune has been identified as one of the 13 US service members killed in the suicide bombing on August 26 in Kabul. Sgt Gee, a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was from Roseville, California.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sgt Gee’s family and friends as well as to all the families who have lost loved ones, and to those still overseas risking their lives. The City of Jacksonville shares in your loss. We are One City, One Community and One Marine family.
“We pray that there is no further loss as our US Service members continue the peace mission to save American lives and allies in Afghanistan.”
On Saturday, the Pentagon said their remains were being flown to the United States.
For the Marine Corps, the deceased are:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.
- Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, and Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
- Sgt. Nicole L. Gee was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
- Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo was assigned to 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain.
For the Navy, the deceased is:
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, who was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.
For the Army, the deceased is:
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, who was assigned to 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.