The transfer started late in the morning, lasted nearly 40 minutes and ended after noon. Over and over again, service members in different shades of green combat uniforms carried flagged transfer cases on the runway to the ramp of the transport plane facing Air Force One. First the Army, then the Marines, then the Navy. The carry team worked in a three-minute cycle, as they were called, and marched in front of the President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and many senior officials, including some of the best military brass. They carried the remains from the transport and lifted them through the cargo doors behind the four gray vans.
When they passed by, the president stood with his hand over his heart. When the Marines’ set returned to C-17’s belly, emptying his hands and collecting the next set of bodies, Mr. Biden spread his posture and clasped his hands behind his belt or back. In many cases, he closed his eyes and bowed like a prayer.
Opposite him was a line of corrupt families, and Dover Base was unable to accommodate all of them in a room specially built for close relatives.
The corrupt soldier who returned to Dover on Sunday was a Marine Sergeant. Darin T. Hoover of Salt Lake City, 31 years old. Marine Corps Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Lawrence, Massachusetts, 25 years old. Marine Corps Sergeant Nicole L in Sacramento, California. Gee, 23 years old. Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Indio, California, 22 years old. Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W from Omaha. Page, 23 years old. Marine Corps Cpl. Umberto A. Sanchez, Logansport, Indiana, 22 years old. Marine Corps Corporal Lance David L. Rio Bravo, Texas. Espinoza, 20 years old. Marine Corps Corporal Lance Jared M in St. Charles, Missouri. Schmitz, 20 years old. Marine Corps Corporal Lance Rylee J in Jackson, Wyoming. McCollum, 20 years old. Marine Corps Corporal Lance Dylan R. Melora, 20 years old, Rancho Cucamonga, California. Marine Corps Corporal Lance Kareem M. Nikowi, Norco, California, 20 years old. Maxton W, Navy NCO, Berlin Heights, Ohio. Soviak, 22 years old. And Sergeant Army. Ryan C. Naus, 23, Corryton, Tennessee.
The President and First Lady Jill Biden met with a family of these soldiers on Sunday morning. After that, I participated in 13 transfers. Eleven times the family chose to allow the news media to observe the bodies of their loved ones who returned home, and twice chose to keep the transfer private.