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Families of Fallen Marines Lash Out at Biden after Meeting: ‘This Isn’t about You’

President Joe Biden honors the dignified transfer of the remains of U.S. military service members who were killed by an August 26 suicide bombing at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., August 29, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Some relatives of the service members who lost their lives in Kabul last week have said that President Biden was dismissive and rude during their meeting with him on Sunday.

Biden met with families after they received the remains of their loved ones at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Many members of the family of Rylee McCollum, a 20-year-old Marine killed in the ISIS suicide attack outside the airport, did not meet in person with Biden, Rylee’s sister Roice told the Washington Post. However, McCollum’s widow Jiennah, who is due to give birth in weeks, met with Biden and said the president kept checking his watch and speaking about his own deceased son Beau, according to Roice.

“My dad and I did not want to speak to him,” Roice said. “You cannot kneel on our flag and pretend you care about our troops. You can’t f*** up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry.”

Mark Schmitz, whose 20-year-old son Jared was killed in Kabul, was more ambivalent towards the president. Schmitz told the Post “my interest was lost” when Biden began talking about Beau.

“I’m not trying to insult the president, but it just didn’t seem that appropriate to spend that much time on his own son,” Schmitz said. “I think it was all him trying to say he understands grief. . . . But when you’re the one responsible for ultimately the way things went down, you kind of feel like that person should own it a little bit more.”

Schmitz noted that when families began leaving the airport, one woman yelled at Biden, “I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!”

Shana Chappell, the mother of Marine Kareem Nikoui, also criticized Biden in a Facebook post after the meeting on Sunday.

“Remember i am the one who stood 5 inches from your face and was letting you know i would never hug my son again, hear his laugh and then you tried to interrupt me and give me your own sob story and i had to tell you ‘that this isn’t about you so don’t make it about you!!!'” Chappell wrote.

Chappell’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were briefly suspended Monday evening following the post. An Instagram spokesperson subsequently said Chappell’s account “was incorrectly deleted and we have since restored it,” and that Chappell’s “tribute to her heroic son does not violate any of our policies,” in a statement to Breitbart.

A suicide bombed associated with ISIS-K killed 13 U.S. troops — eleven Marines, one Army soldier, and a Navy corpsman — and dozens of Afghans who were massed outside the Kabul airport’s Abbey Gate on Thursday, marking the deadliest single day for American troops in the Afghanistan war since 2011.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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