Sacramento Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, three Different Californians Amongst Afghanistan Bomb Victims – CBS San Francisco
SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) – Just a week before she and 12 other US soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing, Sgt. Nicole Gee was cradling a baby in her arms at Kabul airport.
She posted the photo on Instagram and wrote, “I love my job.”
Gee, 23, of Sacramento was one of four Californians killed in the bombing of Kabul airport, where people were evacuated during the Taliban takeover. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 US soldiers, including 11 Marines.
Lance complete with Dylan Merola, 20, from Rancho Cucamonga; Complete Hunter Lopez, 22, from Indio; and Lance Cpl. Norco’s Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Nikoui was also killed.
Gee was a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Sgt. Mallory Harrison, who lived with Gee for three years and called her a “forever sister” and best friend, wrote a moving account of the extent of her loss.
“I can’t quite describe the feeling I get when I force myself to go back to reality and think about how I’ll never see it again,” Harrison wrote on Facebook. “How her last breath was taken to do what she loved – to help people. … Then there was an explosion. And just like that, she’s gone. “
Gee’s Instagram page features another photo of her in work clothes holding a rifle next to a line of people going into the belly of a large transport plane. She wrote: “Escort evacuees to the bird.”
The social media account, which contains many selfies after a workout at the gym, lists their location as California, North Carolina, and “Somewhere Abroad”.
Photos show her on a camel in Saudi Arabia, in a bikini on a Greek island and with a beer in Spain. One from earlier this month in Kuwait shows her radiant with her meritorious promotion to sergeant.
Harrison said their generation of Marines hear war stories from veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they seem very aloof in the midst of boring missions until “the peaceful chariot you were on turns into … your friends, that never come home. “
Gee’s car was still in a parking lot at Camp Lejeune, and Harrison pondered over all the marines who had passed him while she was overseas without knowing who it belonged to.
“Some of them knew her. Some of them don’t, ”she said. “Everyone walked past it. The war stories, the casualties, the flag-hung coffins, the KIA wristbands and the heartache. It’s not that far away anymore. ”
US SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, from Berlin Heights, Ohio
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt.Din T. Hoover, 31, from Salt Lake City, Utah
- Marine Corps Sgt.Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, from Lawrence, Massachusetts
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, from Sacramento, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, from Indio, California
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, from Rio Bravo, Texas
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, from St. Charles, Missouri
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, from Rancho Cucamonga, California
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report