OCEANSIDE, Calif. — After suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of civilians in Kabul, Afghanistan Thursday, local military families gathered outside Camp Pendleton to honor those who lost their lives.
While military officials have not yet disclosed whether anyone killed in the terror attack was based at the local base, the violence hit close to home for the tightknit San Diego military community. Residents said they were drawn to Camp Pendleton to pay their respects to the fallen.
“There’s a lot of young men and women who have dedicated themselves to the Marines and Army, and they love our country, and they love the people over there who want help. I don’t know, it’s just really sad,” Tanya Lenmark, mother to a Marine, told FOX 5.
About 1,000 locally-based Marines have been working evacuation operations on the ground in Kabul since the Taliban’s swift takeover there.
“I feel for their families,” said Oceanside resident Ezora Richard. “It could’ve been my nephews — either one of them — so I feel for the families.”
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs would not release details about the service members until their families have been notified. But many worry that the fallen Marines and Navy hospital corpsman may be from San Diego.
“I will be in contact with any families here in San Diego who may have been related to anyone who was killed, and we will be supporting these families,” says Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. “Both making sure they have everything they need to make it through this time but making sure the world and America remembers the heroism of their loved ones and this sacrifice was not in vain.”
Despite this attack, the Pentagon says it is continuing its mission to evacuate Americans and Afghans from the country.
“Just hope we don’t lose anyone else and we can get as many Americans home as possible, and no one should be left behind,” said Oceanside resident Mike McIntosh at Camp Pendleton Thursday night.