Johnson City Veterans of Foreign Wars host memorial for 13 soldiers killed in Afghanistan evacuation bombing

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After a suicide attack left 13 armed service members dead in Kabul, Afghanistan, local veterans and family gathered to memorialize those who gave their lives.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2108 of Johnson City gathered at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to perform their own honors, including an invocation and ceremony for each member that died on August 26 while evacuating American assets and Afghan civilians from the region.

One name in particular stood out to the crowd: Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, 23 of Knoxville, Tennessee.

“It’s the manner in which it happened, you could say, it was probably more tragic than if they were on an actual campaign,” said T.J. Miles, post 2108 commander. “And you’re doing humanitarian work is the worst part, they weren’t supposed to be fighting. They were supposed to be there helping, so it makes it even harder.”

VFW members read the names of each member, righted an inverted cup for each, and saluted in their honor before playing “Taps”.

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