US Marines, whose comrades died guarding Kabul airport, return home via Reuters


য় Reuters US Marines who were deployed to Afghanistan arrived at their homes on Sunday, hugged their families but were still saddened by the fighting of nine Marines from their unit who failed to return to Camp Pendleton, California


Written by Daniel Trota

Camp Pendleton, California

Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment were on duty outside Kabul Airport on 2 August when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, killing at least 1 U.S. Army member and several Afghans.

Nine Marines of the so-called 2/1 and one of the Navy sailors at Camp Pendleton were also among the 113. Two additional Marines and an Army soldier also died.

The 222 Marines who returned to Camp Pendleton, the largest naval base on the West Coast, 400 miles (km5 km) north of San Diego, were residents of a separate company.

The Marine Corps did not give reporters the full opportunity to speak with returning Marines and their families, although some spoke briefly to the media.

“We came to see him from Mississippi,” retired Marine Allen Frazier said of his son, Corporal Jeffrey Frazier.

“I’m here to see my son,” said Frazier, who declined to comment on how the Afghanistan mission ended.

(Click for profiles of some of the fallen:

The Marines were killed less than 10 days after the Taliban captured Kabul and took control of Afghanistan.

The Marines were trying to secure the airport, screening people during the chaotic U.S. aviation and pressing for weapons, which eventually led to the evacuation of 124,000 people, including U.S. citizens, Afghans who helped in the U.S. war effort, and their families.

Scott Wills, 58, who was part of a motorcycle escort that traversed the last 50 miles (80 km) of their journey home with the Marines, said it was important to support returning seniors, especially as suicide was very common among them.

His team, the Patriot Guard Riders, aims to lift their spirits with their religiosity.

“It’s a dark time for them. They’ve lost some of their teammates … with whom they’ve trained, hired and deployed,” Wills said. “And if we can be that bright spot … and they don’t go down that dark hole, that’s why we’re here.”

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