Audie Cornish, Mark Schmidt, Kabul Airport discussed on Consider This from NPR

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Those book to. Npr's audie cornish from doha. Now president biden said this week that ninety eight percent of americans who wanted to leave afghanistan were able to those remaining americans. There is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out. Fighting also defended his decision not to keep the. Us military in the country longer doing so he argued would have required sending even more troops into harm's way and at a time when veterans face battles at home to eighteen of them a day on average die by suicide. I don't think enough people understand how much we've asked of the one percent of this country who put that uniform on willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation two thousand four hundred sixty one american troops died in afghanistan over the last twenty years thirteen of them just this past week in that attack on the kabul airport. One of those was marine lance corporal. Jared schmitz he was twenty years old just six months old when nine eleven happened. Jared was an energetic little guy. He he was constantly happy. If you have the opportunity to look through our photo albums you would see that no matter how. He captured him on a camera. He was always smiling nonstop. Carrots father mark. He told npr that jared decided in high school instead of going to college following his dad in the family business. He wanted to join the marines. Yeah it was About sophomore year of high school gut reaction probably an equal mix of proud crowdedness as well as fear concern. But i knew that it fit like a glove. Then last month it came time for jarod's first deployment. He told his dad. He couldn't say where he was going. And like a good father got it out of him And told them you know you got to be incredibly careful. Jared stayed in touch with his dad when he got to kabul. They texted back and forth but at one point last week it had been a few days since they'd been in contact mark schmidt's shared what happened next within. Npr's rachel martin so then when this attack happened i was just gut wrenching feeling for our military and their families. You know that somebody just lost her life over this in the back of my mind though. Of course thinking my mom my son's okay. At least you know. That's thank god for that. You know another day goes by still hadn't heard from. I'm starting to get kind of worked up and upset like what's going on. Why is he not getting all of us in my friend. Patrick who's a marine as well. He's lucky he's real busy so he'll get to you when he can ensure everything's spine and It was later that night to forty in the morning. You're knocking on the door. And there's two dark silhouettes on the other side of our glass door slip. The porch light on and lights just went right on their ribbons and medals on their. You know the rest part of their jackets and uniforms. My heart just sunk. you know. i'm like okay. They're here to tell me he's injured. But is injuries are it took forever for them to get me to comprehend that they were there to deliver the most horrific moose so that conversation. Where you manage to get jared to tell you. He was deploying taff ghanistan. That was that was your last with him. That was my last phone conversation with him. But we we've been able to stay in communication via tax. I was looking for some information that he had given me a while back. So i have to jump in my text messages today and i went back and scroll back to most recent conversations with him and just to make sure. I always tell your kid. You'll love them. But you just wanna make sure you got that last one in you know and i did thank god but You know so hard. Because i was scrolling back so far i've alway back to father's and there's a message from him in there and My son is telling me how proud he is of me. Here's new idea. Last weekend mark schmidt's went to dover air force base when his sons remains and those of the other servicemembers killed were returned to the us he and jared's mother had a chance to meet with president. Biden there mark. Says he almost didn't go through with it. I just. I didn't have a lot of good thoughts about the man when president biden did me with mark and jared's mother. She pulled up a photo on her phone sent to them. By one of jared fellow marines and it was the last photo of our son taken that the morning of 'em we showed it to him and kinda stared at it and mumbled something. I couldn't really make out what he said. But as he's looking at a picture of my son. I just flat out said to jared jared schmitz ever forget that name and don't forget the name of the twelve others when you need to spend some time learning their stores who they were and then that's when he kind of described it as barking back. Because i don't know how else to really describe it. But he says i know their stores. I thought was. That's literally impossible. You know in. Why are you arguing with me. And then of course you mentioned his son again and i will. I will say fairness soon. As i got done speaking about that. And he said but he said he reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. And obviously this wasn't set up. Because this was immediately after what i said he pulls the car out and shows me number. Didn't know what the number met but after that number was plus thirteen and he explained to me that he keeps his card with them every day as a reminder of everyone has been lost. So there's that i'll give the guy kudos hem showing up and having to do what he had to do. Given the circumstances of.

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