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Friday, October 8, 2021, was a special night at Viking Stadium as Perry County veterans were recognized and thirteen fallen service members were remembered during a special presentation of American flags.

Each flag represented one of the thirteen military service members killed August 26 in the Taliban suicide bombing at the Kabul, Afghanistan airport.

Viking players carried the flags onto the field and presented them to thirteen Perry County veterans.

The military service personnel killed:

–Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, Rio Bravo, Texas;

–Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, Sacramento, California;

–Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, Salt Lake City, Utah;

–U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, Corryton, Tennessee;

–Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, Indio, California;

–Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, Jackson, Wyoming;

–Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, Rancho Cucamonga, California;

–Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, Norco, California;

–Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, Omaha, Nebraska;

–Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, Lawrence, Massachusetts;

–Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, Logansport, Indiana;

–Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, St. Charles, Missouri;

–Navy Hospital Corpsman Max W. Soviak, 22, Berlin Heights, Ohio.

Organized by Sharon McKnight, the flags were purchased thanks to donations from: Marlene & Bill Tarkington of Sparkey & Ringo’s, Michael & Jacquelyn Bell, Pro Tech Medical LLC, Kazeray Campbell of Stay Salty Fitness, Mitchell, Laura, Gage & Waylon Andrews, The Wheat Family, Matt & Connie Griffin, Jarred, Kenisha & Logan Hester, Faith Baptist Church, Troy & Paul Himes of Troy’s Tire, Jackie & Sherry Duncan of Duncan’s Ace Hardware, Eric Hickerson and Bethaney Dabbs, Chris & Tracy Broadway, Rhonda Warren, and Martin & Amanda Bartlebaugh.

Local veterans received free admission to the football game, and enjoyed food provided by Linden Church of God The Bridge.



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