Down to 2 Marines still hospitalized after Afghanistan suicide bombing

Two Marines are still being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for wounds they took during the Aug. 26 suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

Of the two Marines, one is in “very serious but stable condition” and one is in “serious but stable condition,” Capt. Johnny C. Henderson, a Marine Corps spokesman, said in a Tuesday morning email.

As of Friday, four Marines were still in the medical center in Bethesda, Maryland. Since then, two have been discharged. At least 15 Marines received some treatment at the hospital after the attack, Maj. James Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times on Sept. 1.

Sixteen Marines are now “on the West Coast in the vicinity of their parent units and are receiving outpatient treatment,” Henderson said in a Tuesday afternoon email. “Their recoveries are being monitored and assisted by the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment.”

Citing privacy concerns, the Marine Corps will not disclose the names of the Marines in the hospital or the units they were assigned to when the bombing happened.

On Aug. 26 while Marines were processing refugees through the Abbey Gate a suicide bomber, since claimed by ISIS-K, approached them carrying roughly 25 pounds of explosives.

The detonation killed 11 Marines, one Navy corpsman, one soldier and roughly 170 Afghans.

The names of the dead Marines are: Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, out of Camp Pendleton, California; Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, with 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, with Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, with 2/1; Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, with 2/1; Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, with 2/1; Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, with 2/1; Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, with 2/1; Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, with 2/1; Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, with 2/1; and Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, with 2/1.

Also killed were Navy corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California, and soldier Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, assigned to 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

As of Sept. 10, the Marine Corps had awarded 29 Purple Hearts to Marine and Navy corpsman attached to Marine units who deployed to Afghanistan to defend the withdrawal.

All 12 of the deceased who fought with Marine units had their Purple Hearts and combat action ribbons officially awarded to them by early September, Yvonne Carlock, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, told Marine Corps Times Sept. 10.

In addition to the 29 Purple Hearts issued, 12 more were pending.

At least one Marine was wounded prior to the suicide bombing at Abbey Gate.

The Marines from Battalion Landing Team 1/10 took some random fire when they first started to secure the airport in mid-August as thousands of Afghans were desperately trying to make it onto the last flights out of the country before the U.S. withdrawal.

The Marine only took a small wound to the leg and quickly returned to the line, Marine Corps Times previously reported.

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