Blackburn, Daines, Warren Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Honor 13 American Heroes Killed In Afghanistan With Congressional Gold Medals
September 16, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bipartisan bill to award Congressional Gold Medals to the 13 American servicemembers who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26th.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the 13 courageous men and women who gave their lives in Afghanistan to save those they had never met. These servicemembers embodied true American heroism in the face of persistent evil. Honoring these heroes, including Tennessee native Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, with Congressional Gold Medals is the least we can do to express our deep appreciation for their service and sacrifice,” said Senator Blackburn.
“Thirteen brave men and women gave the last full measure to protect Americans and our Afghan allies at a critical moment in our nation’s history—they are American heroes. As the U.S. concludes 20-years of combat in Afghanistan, I believe it’s fitting that Congress commemorates their sacrifice in this moment with the Congressional Gold Medal,” Senator Daines said. “On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to these heroes and their families, and to all who wear the uniform and protect our freedom.”
“We should honor these 13 servicemembers, including U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo of Lawrence, Massachusetts, who were killed last month in Afghanistan while serving our country and working to protect the lives of others. These individuals demonstrated incredible courage throughout their careers, and we owe it to them to pass legislation to recognize their heroic service with the Congressional Gold Medal,” Senator Warren said.
Blackburn, Daines, and Warren are pushing for Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bernie Sanders (D-V.T.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have also cosponsored the bill.
Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.