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2 more fathers of Marines killed in Kabul slam Biden: ‘Talked more about his own son than mine,’ kept checking his watch

A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez of Logansport, Indiana, Aug. 29, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jason Minto)
August 31, 2021

The fathers of two U.S. Marines who were killed during the attack on the Kabul airport last week said they felt disrespected by President Joe Biden as they watched their sons caskets brought home over the weekend. One father said Biden had more to say about his own son, who died as a result of brain cancer, than he had to say about the troops killed in Kabul.

Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Jared Schmitz, and Darin Hoover, father of Marine Darin Taylor Hoover Jr., discussed their anguish during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday.

Hoover said he chose not to meet with Biden and “didn’t want [Biden] anywhere near us” while they both attended the dignified transfer of his son’s casket at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Schmitz, by contrast, said he did give Biden the chance to talk, but said the president’s words of condolences “didn’t sit well with me.”

Schmitz said the president spent the majority of the time talking about the death of his own son, Beau Biden. The younger Biden had served in Iraq with the U.S. Army; he died in 2015 from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“Initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him,” Schmitz said. “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. He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn’t sit well with me.”

Hoover said he made his decision not to meet with the president while he attended the dignified transfer of his son’s casket. Biden was photographed checking his watch during the ceremony. Hoover said Biden checked his watch, not just once, but multiple times.

“That didn’t happen just once. It happened on every single one that came out of that airplane,” Hoover said. “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.”

Hoover said his disappointment in Biden was compounded by earlier comments from a member of his son’s unit.

“As a father, seeing that and the disrespect, and hearing from his former leaders, one of [Taylor’s] master sergeants said … that this was avoidable — that they left them over there: They had them over there and let them down, and we can’t have that It can’t happen ever again,” Hoover said.

Schmitz also said he was upset by Biden checking his watch.

“I 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: I couldn’t look at him anymore after that,” Schmitz said. “Considering the time and why we were there, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”

Schmitz and Hoover were not the first parents of service members killed in Kabul to criticize Biden.

The mother of Rylee McCollum, another U.S. Marine killed last week, blamed Biden for her son’s death during a radio show over the weekend. She said her son was “twenty years and 6 months old, getting ready to go home from freaking Jordan to be home with his wife to watch the birth of his son, and that feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die.”

The father of Marine Kareem Nikoui also said the president “turned his back” on his son.