“These are terrible sacrifices for the families. And these guys are heroes, they’re real warriors and did a great job for the American people,” O’Brien said. “These are tough times. It’s tough for the president but he thinks it’s important to be there for the families and recognize them.”
The Defense Department has identified the dead American soldiers as Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28; and Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28. Six other American soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Gutierrez was born in Jacksonville, N.C. He had also served in Iraq. Rodriguez was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He deployed eight times in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, which began in 2015. Both men were posthumously promoted to Sgt. 1st Class and awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
Six U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of 2020, including Saturday’s casualties. Last year, 20 U.S. service personnel died in combat there and there were two non-combat deaths.
The incident came as Washington has sought to find an end to the war in Afghanistan.
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