Gold Star dads of Marines killed in Kabul airport attack blast Biden's visit to Dover

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Two Gold Star dads are speaking out about their experience with Joe Biden at Dover Air Force base on Sunday. They spoke with FNC’s Sean Hannity last night. Mark Schmitz, father of Missouri Marine Jared Schmitz, and Darin Hoover, father of Utah Marine Darin Taylor Hoover Jr. are speaking out about Biden’s actions as Commander-in-Chief. Mr. Schmitz met with Biden. Mr. Hoover decided to not do so.

Darin Hoover, Jr. was the oldest of the soldiers killed that day. He was 31 years old. The others were all in their twenties, mostly early twenties, with several only twenty years old. The youthfulness in their faces is jarring. Hoover’s father says that Biden looked at his watch many times during the ceremony, not just the one time that was caught in the photograph as the caskets were offloaded. He also said that one of his son’s leaders told him that his son’s death was avoidable.

“That didn’t happen just once. It happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one, all 13, he looked down at his watch,” Hoover said.

“As a father, seeing that and the disrespect, and hearing from his former leaders, one of [Taylor’s] master sergeants said … that this was avoidable — that they left them over there: They had them over there and let them down, and we can’t have that. It can’t happen ever again,” he said.

Asked about why Hoover and his family declined to meet with Biden, the grieving father explained, “We said absolutely not. We didn’t want to deal with him, we didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be.”

Maybe looking at his watch doesn’t seem like a big deal to some people but the grieving families took it as a sign of disrespect. Biden is given a pass by the media and others in his party when he does things that would draw criticism from them toward a Republican. Remember when George H.W. Bush looked at his watch during the presidential debate in 1988? Anyway, Mr. Hoover isn’t the only one talking about Biden’s watch. Mr. Schmitz also noticed the same thing. He confirmed he had the same reaction when Hannity asked.

“Yes I did,” he replied. “I leaned into my son’s mother’s ear and I said ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time’ — and that was probably only four times in: I couldn’t look at him anymore after that.”

“Considering the time and why we were there, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”

Mr. Schmitz was adamant about not wanting to visit with Biden. He said he “didn’t want [Biden] anywhere near us.” Then he changed his mind.

“Initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him,” Schmitz said. “But then I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt – and it didn’t go well.”

“He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn’t sit well with me.”

Biden continues to conflate his own son’s death from cancer with that of fallen soldiers. Biden’s son’s death does not make him a Gold Star dad. These men are Gold Star dads. Biden’s grief for his son appears to cloud his own judgment, especially when it comes to his decisions about Afghanistan. He was so hellbent to be done with Afghanistan that he made poor decisions that led to the deaths of 13 of our best and bravest. Thirteen senseless deaths just so Biden can deliver a speech on September 11 that the war in Afghanistan is over.

Joe Biden is callous and vain. His vision is myopic. Our fallen didn’t die in vain, though. They performed the duties they were instructed to do with honor and bravery. God bless them.

The sisters of Lance Cpl Rylee McCollum and his father were interviewed on Fox and Friends this morning. They spoke about their brother and son, as well as their experience at Dover Air Force Base with Biden during the dignified transfer of the thirteen fallen service members from the attack at the Kabul airport. The experience for them was not one that comforted them. Rylee was just 20 years old and his wife is pregnant with their first child.

His sisters Roice and Cheyenne, and his father, Jim spoke about Rylee. Jim and Roice refused to meet with Biden. “Every step along the way has been absolutely backward. They fumbled the ball every step of the way,” Jim said about the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Cheyenne met with Biden but after about 15 seconds of his speaking to her, she said, she had to walk away. She said Biden wouldn’t look into the eyes of family members there and began with, “I know what you’re going through. I lost my son.” It’s unclear if Rylee’s mom, Kathy, was at Dover. She has made headlines since the attack that killed her son. She ripped Biden as “dementia-ridden”, among other things.

Rylee’s family spoke of their love and respect for his young widow, for the strength she is showing. There is a GoFundMe page for the education and care of the baby. The initial goal was to raise $5,000. As I write this Tuesday morning, the amount received so far is $478,267.

For whatever reason, Biden is waiting until today to address the final withdrawal from Afghanistan. Perhaps because this is the date he set as a deadline. He has a lot of questions to answer. Look for him to bring up losing his son Beau again, though. He thinks this makes him look emphatic. Biden has shown us throughout his time in office, though, that the kindly old grandpa narrative is just political hype, meant to make him more palatable to voters.