Senate Passes Portman-Supported Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Ohio-Native Max Soviak and 12 Other Fallen Service Members.

November 18, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released the following statement after joining his Senate colleagues in unanimously voting to approve a measure awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 service members who were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 26. One of the fallen service members was Navy Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak, a native of Berlin Heights, Ohio.

“I was honored to join my Senate colleagues in unanimously voting to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Max Soviak and the 12 other service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan this past August. Max’s sacrifice, along with that of the other Marines and soldier who were killed that day, reminds us of how blessed we are to have such courageous and selfless fellow citizens willing to stand guard for us and the freedoms we enjoy every day. These 13 young men and women were heroes in the truest sense of the word - they answered the call and did their duty with valor and distinction. We will never forget their service and sacrifice.”

The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. The measure was previously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 26, 2021. It will now be sent to the President for his signature.

Eleven marines, one Navy Corpsman and one Army staff sergeant were killed in the attack:

  • Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31
  • Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22
  • Cpl. Daegan Page, 23
  • Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22
  • Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20
  • Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20
  • Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20
  • Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20
  • Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20
  • Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23
  • Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25
  • Navy Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22
  • Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23