WENTZVILLE, Mo. This article is a part of a Fox News Digital Series that examines the effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The article has been updated to include new quotes and details as Jared Schmitz’s father recalls his Marine son two years after the Marine was killed during the evacuation.
Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz believed he was going to die trying get control of the Kabul Airport during the U.S. departure from Afghanistan in 2021.
After a few weeks, the military managed to restore some order. Jared was then informed that he would have to move from his original post to an airstrip.
“‘I’m exhausted. Mark Schmitz, Jared’s dad, remembered his son saying, “I’ve got go.” In one of their last conversations. “He just wanted to sleep so badly.”
Mark recalled, “I told him that I loved him. Mark remembered that he had heard him say, “I love you too.” “And that ended that phone call.”
Jared was 20 years old when he was killed by a suicide terrorist at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in August of 2021. The blast also killed at least 170 Afghans.
Mark stated that even if Jared knew that an attack would be imminent he wouldn’t change his position.
He told Fox News that he would have stayed where he was. “Because it wouldn’t be him if it wasn’t someone else and he would not allow that to happen another brother or sister.”
Mark said that if he were to ever go out, Mark would want to die as a Marine. “He would do everything again.”
Jared’s dad is still wracked with guilt over the unanswered question of what Biden’s administration did to cause his son’s death. Mark claimed that President Biden, and his administration, have not been held accountable for their role in the attack of 2021. This is ahead of the second anniversary.
He told Fox News that “two years later we have the government and [Department of Defense] double down on the lies” they spread the first year. “Not much has really changed, except that they’ve shown their true colors and are being utterly disrespectful,” he said.
He claimed that the Biden administration lied about the details of the events surrounding Jared’s passing to avoid being publicly shamed. He said that he still hasn’t received any closure about how Jared died on the day in question.
Mark’s voice was trembling as he said, “I don’t even know if Jared died instantly or if his blood flowed over time.”
Mark stated, “We Gold Star Families have realized that we won’t be able take Biden to task for this… but we do want history written accurately.” “And we’re going to do everything in our power to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
The White House and the Pentagon did not respond to requests for comments, but President Obama released a statement about the second anniversary.
Biden stated, “We will always honor the memory and sacrifice of the 13 servicemen who were taken far too early from their loved ones and brothers and sisters in arms, while performing an noble mission for our nation.” “We will never be able to repay the sacrifices of the 2,461 U.S. soldiers who died in Afghanistan over the past two decades or the 20,744 wounded. We will never forget our sacred duty to our veterans and service members, their families and caregivers as well as survivors.
Jared’s uniform is a safe place for him
Jared Schmitz’s interest began as a child. However, it was in high school that his desire to become a Marine became more apparent, according to his father, Jaclyn.
Jaclyn, a Fox News reporter, said that Jared “was just really passionate about being there for the people” at a young age. Jared’s dad said that his son’s protectiveness led him to the military.
Mark said, “Jared took care of everyone no matter what.” He would not tolerate bullying. He would never allow bullying to happen.
Jared took seriously his role as older brother. He always looked out for his younger siblings, and walked them to school every day. His youngest sister even had her backpack carried for her.
Jaclyn stated that Addison had at one time said she was assisting him with his Marine training.
Jared began training every Saturday with the local Marines when he was a teenager.
Jaclyn, a Fox News reporter, said: “I had never seen him devote himself so much to anything.” “We knew then that this was his true calling.”
Mark said that Jared’s goofy personality remained even after he joined the Marines. He did silly voices and funny dances.
Mark stated that “Jared was really no different from what he was like at home.” “He had an infectious laugh.”
Mark continued, “But even with the uniform on, he exuded a sense that he was finally in his place, because it was where he desired to be.” Mark added, “I think that being in his uniform was his safe space.”
Mark and Jaclyn said that the community’s support was a lifeline since Jared’s passing. Mark is reminded of how united the country was after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Mark Schmitz, the elder Schmitz , believes that Jared’s father also emphasized the importance of this day during Jared’s upbringing.
Mark told Fox News that the most important day for him was the next day, Sept. 12. “I saw the America I love,” he said. “We were all Americans, and we were angry.”
Mark witnessed a similar unity as Jared’s corps was returned home. The Marines’ funeral procession was made up of hundreds of cars that traveled along a 31 mile route lined with thousands people.
Mark spoke of his son saying, “I talk with him everywhere.” The painting in my office, I said, was painted by a Californian artist.
This piece is a rendering of the last photograph of Jared taken just hours before his death.
Mark told Fox News that “it cheers me every time I see it.” “I feel like he is communicating back.
Mark told Jared that if he were still alive he would say “you made me proud.” He was holding back tears as his voice cracked. “You are 10x the man I will ever be.”
Mark continued, “The country is so proud of your work.” Mark continued, “Everything that you did in the end was worthwhile.”
Mark and Jaclyn honor Jared’s memory by continuing to run their non-profit, Freedom 13. This organization aims to connect veterans with other veterans and provide them with recreational housing in order to improve their mental health. The Freedom 13 recently purchased Missouri property in order to build a retreat that will be open to veterans and their family members.
Mark said to Fox News that “Jared is a son who makes me proud of being a dad.” Mark told Fox News that “He was an American in the truest sense of the term.”
He said, “I told my spouse the other day that I’m not scared to die.” “I know in my heart that I will see him again.”