‘He Loved What He Did’ — Missouri Marine Killed in Afghanistan Identified

August 28, 2021Mac Caltrider

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz from Wentzville, Missouri, was among the 13 US service members killed Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in a suicide bombing at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

A Marine from Missouri who was less than a year old when al Qaeda terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, was identified as one of the 13 American service members killed in Afghanistan Thursday, Aug. 26.

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz was among 10 Marines, a Navy Corpsman, and two soldiers killed when an ISIS-K suicide bomber and an unknown number of gunmen attacked Hamid Karzai International Airport. 

“He took his job very seriously,” Schmitz’s father Mark Schmitz told St. Louis Talks radio. “Someone came along, took the easy way out, and ended everything for him and for us. And the others who were killed.”

A US Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command escorts a family during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. Photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla.

Schmitz was from Wentzville, Missouri, and graduated from Fort Zumwalt South High School in 2019. After graduating from Marine boot camp in October of 2020, he became an infantryman and served with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. 

He loved what he did, and no matter what happened, he never complained once. He always had your back if you needed it,” Eris Luttrell, a former classmate of Schmitz’s, told Coffee or Die Magazine.

Schmitz’s father revealed the news Friday on St. Louis Talks radio, saying his son always wanted to serve in the Marine Corps. Mark Schmitz added that he spoke with his son on the phone the morning he was killed.

“I’ve never seen a young man train as hard as he did to be the best soldier he could be,” Mark Schmitz said. “That’s a big part of why we are all obviously devastated and sad, but there’s so much anger right now because he wasn’t even given that opportunity to demonstrate all the skills he had protected and learned while in the Corps.” 

When asked what he wanted Americans to remember, the mourning father added, “Be afraid of our leadership or lack thereof. Pray every day for the soldiers who are putting their lives at risk and doing what they love, which is protecting all of us. I think they’re the only ones that we can honestly say have our backs.”

A Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command receives a high-five from a child during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. Schmitz was deployed to Jordan before he responded to the situation in Afghanistan. US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz.

“He wanted to be in a situation where he actually made a difference in what his role was within the Marine Corps; he was excited to get that opportunity,” Schmitz’s father said. “As his parents, of course, we were terrified. I don’t have words for how upset we are, and I am sure he is as well. This is just absolutely devastating.”

Missouri state Rep. Nick Schroer paid tribute to Schmitz in a Facebook post. 

“Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz paid the ultimate sacrifice yesterday serving our nation,” Schroer wrote. “He is a Marine out of Wentzville, MO and a true American hero. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family today in these tragic times.” 

Schmitz was one of 13 service members killed in the attack. The Marine Corps and other military officials have not officially released the names of any service members killed in action Thursday, telling Coffee or Die they would release information “24 hours after every family member is notified.”

The 13 American service members killed in the Aug. 26 bombing were:

Lance Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, USMC | Laredo, TX

Sgt. Nicole Gee, USMC | Roseville, CA

Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, USMC | Salt Lake City, UT

Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, US Army | Knoxville, TN

Cpl. Hunter Lopez, USMC | Indio, CA

Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, USMC | Bondurant, WY

Cpl. Dylan Merola, USMC | Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, USMC | Norco, CA

Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, USMC | Omaha, NE

Sgt. Johanny Rosario, USMC | Lawrence, MA

Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, USMC | Logansport, IN

Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, USMC | Wentzville, MO

Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, US Navy | Berlin Heights, OH

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect more recent reporting that confirmed there was only one suicide bomber.

Read Next: ‘Devoted’ Marine From Southern California Among Service Members Killed in Kabul 

Mac Caltrider
Mac Caltrider

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served in the US Marine Corps and is a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Robert Heinlein: The Navy Vet Who Pioneered Sci-Fi

The dean of science fiction combined his experiences in the Navy with his knowledge as an aeronautical engineer to create genre-transforming novels.

January 27, 2023Mac Caltrider
Masih Alinejad
Feds: Brooklyn Cops Foil Brazen Iranian Plot to Murder Masih Alinejad

Three men reputedly linked to Eastern European mobsters and Iranian intelligence operatives have been arrested.

January 27, 2023Carl Prine
FILE - Ukrainian soldiers on captured Russian tanks T-72 hold military training close to the Ukraine-Belarus border near Chernihiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. The West's move to send tanks to Ukraine was greeted enthusiastically from Kyiv, Berlin and Washington. But Moscow seemed to shrug. The Kremlin has warned the West that supplying tanks would be a dangerous escalation of the conflict and denounced the decision. AP photo by Aleksandr Shulman, File.
Russia Responds to Ukraine’s ‘Tanksgiving’ With Missile and Drone Strikes

Hours after the US and Germany agreed to send battle tanks to Ukraine, Russia launched missile and drone strikes at targets across the country.

January 26, 2023Nolan Peterson
Marine Corps Dedicates First New Base in 7 Decades

For the first time in seven decades, the US Marine Corps is building a new base.

January 26, 2023Carl Prine
US Sending Nearly a Battalion of Abrams Tanks to Ukraine

The US will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine after months of uncertainty.

January 26, 2023Associated Press
The damaged tug Mark E. Kuebler grounded near Corpus Christi, Texas, on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A large gash is visible just above the waterline. Photos courtesy of Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Merrit Carter. Composite by Kenna Lee/Coffee or Die Magazine.
Coast Guard Coxswain Emphasizes Having Clear Head During Tugboat Response

One of the world’s most innovative tugboats remains beached on a Texas sandbar, after apparently getting sucked under a massive oil tanker and mauled by its propeller.

January 26, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Coffee Or Die Photo
The ‘Tallinn Pledge’ for Ukraine: NATO V2.0?

Representatives from nine NATO countries gathered in Estonia and pledged more military aid for Ukraine.

January 20, 2023Nolan Peterson
Coffee Or Die Photo
Triple Seven Expedition
DISPATCH: With Celebratory Jump in Florida, Triple 7 Expedition Is a Wrap

The Triple 7 Expedition's team of nine vets wrapped up its breakneck skydiving expedition with a final, celebratory jump in Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

January 20, 2023Jenna Biter
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved