Johnson Invites Gold Star Parents Of Marines Killed In Afghanistan To State Of The Union

House Speaker Mike Johnson has announced that he will be hosting Gold Star parents as his guests for Thursday’s State of the Union address. These brave individuals tragically lost their children in the Kabul airport bombing that took place during the turbulent U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

In a statement to ABC News, Johnson expressed his view that President Biden’s quick and unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan was a failure for both America and its allies. He emphasized that this decision resulted in the tragic loss of brave American servicemembers, such as Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover and Cpl. Hunter Lopez. Johnson’s sentiments echo the arguments put forth by many Republicans during the election year.

Johnson extended an invitation to Alicia Lopez and Darin Hoover, grieving parents who tragically lost their children during the Afghanistan withdrawal. Cpl. Hunter Lopez and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover were among the fallen heroes, losing their lives at Abbey Gate in Kabul, Afghanistan. Notably, Taylor Hoover was the eldest among the 13 service members who perished on that fateful day.

In a joint statement, Darin Hoover and Alicia Lopez expressed their admiration for Taylor and Hunter, describing them as exceptional individuals, devoted Marines, and beloved sons who consistently brought pride to their families. These courageous individuals, along with 11 others who lost their lives and 45 who were wounded, made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. However, despite the considerable time that has passed since their tragic deaths, the President has failed to provide us with the answers we seek.

“We, as parents, deserve transparency and we strongly demand justice. We are grateful for the opportunity to join Speaker Johnson at the State of the Union to honor our sons and call for accountability from this Administration,” they expressed.

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Since the beginning of the 118th Congress, House Republicans have been conducting an investigation into the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. This week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to discuss the possibility of holding Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress. The allegation is that Blinken failed to cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents pertaining to the U.S. withdrawal.

In a strong condemnation, Biden criticized the attack and made a promise to track down and bring to justice those accountable for it.

The U.S. military has acknowledged that a devastating error took place when a drone strike, aimed at a suspected car bomber, tragically hit three adults and seven children, including an Afghan employee of an American aid organization, a few days later.

In a statement to ABC News, Johnson emphasized the importance of having a strong and assertive President on the global stage, rather than one who appears weak.

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