President Joe Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday for the dignified transfer of 13 flag-draped caskets carrying the remains of the U.S. service members who were killed days earlier in a terrorist attack outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
But while Biden may have intended to console the grieving families also in attendance, several family members of the fallen troops have since revealed that they felt slighted by the commander-in-chief — and many of them hold Biden directly responsible for their loved ones’ deaths.
According to TheBlaze, one woman reportedly shouted at the president from across the tarmac: “I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!”
“Our son is now gone”
The woman’s anguished cry was recalled by Mark Schmitz, the father of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, who is not a supporter of President Biden and very nearly skipped the event altogether because he’d be there, according to The Washington Post.
Mark Schmitz recounted to the Post an exchange of hard words between himself and Biden during their private meeting, and was critical of the fact that the president spent more time talking about his own deceased son, Beau, than the men and women who were just killed on his watch.
Mark Schmitz also said he understood that Biden was simply trying to express empathy for the grieving parents.
“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 told the Post. “Our son is now gone. Because of a direct decision or game plan — or lack thereof — that he [Biden] put in place.”
“Every life is on his hands”
Schmitz was not alone in his criticism of the president as the fallen troops were brought home. The Post also spoke with the family members of and the pregnant widow of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, who was just 20 years old when he died days ago in Kabul.
McCollum’s widow, Jiennah, was reportedly the only one to actually speak with Biden. According to McCollum’s sister, Roice, Jiennah said the president’s words of condolences came across as “scripted and shallow” and were made in “total disregard to the loss of our Marine — our brother, son, husband, and father.”
“My dad and I did not want to speak to him. 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,” McCollum said, according to the Post. “This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands. The thousands of Afghans who will suffer and be tortured is a direct result of his incompetence.”
“Biden turned his back”
According to Fox News, Shana Chappell, mother of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, also had harsh words for Biden, recalling that after she accused him of being responsible for her son’s death, he “rolled [his] f*****g eyes” and shrugged her off.
Nikoui’s father, Steve, had a similar message. “They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” he said, according to The Daily Beast. “I blame my own military leaders… Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”