Local AMVETS Post honors 13 Americans killed in Kabul airport attack

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PERRY, Ohio (WJW) – A Northeast Ohio chapter of a national veterans organization honored the 13 fallen U.S. service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan last week.

Veterans, military families and community members gathered in Lake County Tuesday evening to pay tribute to those who died in the terror attack, which included a Northeast Ohio native.

One by one, a bell tolled as community members in Perry read the names of the service members killed during a terror attack near the Kabul airport last Thursday.

“Oh God… Look kindly on these 13 young men and women who sacrificed their lives as they provided comfort and protection to ensure the safe evacuation of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” said retired U.S. Navy Commander Tom Anderson.

Dozens of people attend a brief ceremony in front of AMVETS Post 1971 on Main Street, which was shut down to accommodate the crowd paying their respects.

Some of the speakers included Blue Star Mothers, who have children currently serving in the military, and military veterans from branches of the services impacted by Thursday’s loss.

“I’m thankful for being here and I thank them for serving,” said Ernst Gant, Jr., a U.S. Navy Seal.

“I’d like that we all join as Americans in extending our deepest condolences to these families for their sacrifices of their children, husbands and loved ones,” said Jeremy Johnson, a U.S. Army Iraq War Veteran.

“The one thing it means being a Marine is you’re never alone, ever… No matter what generation you come from, what little city, what little town, what little hamlet, we’re always there,” said Sean Spect, U.S. Marine Corps Gulf War veteran.

Among the 13 names read aloud, included Navy Corpsman Max Soviak of Berlin Heights in Erie County. 

They are all heroes to everyone who attended and honored their service and sacrifice.

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