Remains of Missouri Marine killed in Kabul return home

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – It’s a hero’s homecoming for a Missouri Marine killed last month in Kabul.

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz was among 13 U.S. service members killed. Several miles of westbound traffic on Interstate 70 in suburban St. Louis closed Wednesday as his remains were escorted from Lambert Airport to a funeral home.

Schmitz was from Wentzville, Missouri. He was a 2019 graduate of Fort Zumwalt South High School.

The 13 troops were killed Aug. 26 as they were helping to screen Afghans and others at the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport. At least 169 Afghans were also killed in the bombing, as they struggled to get into the airport and on flights out of the country.

The troops have been posthumously awarded Purple Hearts.

Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio; Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.; and 11 Marines: Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.; Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California; Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California; Cpl. Daegan Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska; Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana; Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas; Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri; Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming; Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.

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