Gold Star Father On Meeting Biden: ‘We Said Absolutely Not,’ ‘Didn’t Want Him Anywhere Near Us’
A transfer case with the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, are carried off of a military aircraft as US President Joe Biden attends the dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan last week. - President Joe Biden prepared Sunday at a US military base to receive the remains of the 13 American service members killed in an attack in Kabul, a solemn ritual that comes amid fierce criticism of his handling of the Afghanistan crisis. Biden and his wife, Jill, both wearing black and with black face masks, first met far from the cameras with relatives of the dead in a special family center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.The base, on the US East Coast about two hours from Washington, is synonymous with the painful return of service members who have fallen in combat.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Gold Star father Darin Hoover, whose son Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was killed in the terror attack at the airport in Kabul last week, refused to meet with President Joe Biden following his son’s death.

Speaking with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, Hoover said when given the offer to meet Biden, “We said absolutely not.”

“We didn’t want to deal with him,” he continued. “We didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be.”


“It’s the absolute worst feeling in the world,” Hoover said about losing his son. “Having them be away for so long, and doing the job that they all love, there is no doubt about it. Being a marine to these guys is everything. And having this happen to these heroes. Every one of them is a hero. There is no doubt. Every last one of them. They died with their brothers in their sisters right next to them doing exactly what they wanted to do and that is defending this country.”

Hannity had another Gold Star father on his show, Mark Schmitz, whose son Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, was killed in the same attack.

Schmitz said that he had originally planned on not meeting with Biden, but he changed his mind. However, after meeting Biden, he said that it did not go well.

“Well, initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him, but then I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt and it didn’t go well,” Schmitz said. “He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son in that didn’t sit well with me.”

The Washington Post highlighted details from the meeting that Schmitz had with Biden:

But by his own account, Schmitz glared hard at the president, so Biden spent more time looking at his ex-wife, repeatedly invoking his own son, Beau, who died six years ago.

Schmitz did not want to hear about Beau, he wanted to talk about Jared. Eventually, the parents took out a photo to show to Biden.

“I said, ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12,’ ” Schmitz said. “ ‘And take some time to learn their stories.’ ”

Schmitz said that Biden did not like that and claimed that he knew “their stories.”

The U.S. soldiers that were killed during the terror attack on the Kabul airport are Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts; Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California; Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of 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, of Rio Bravo, Texas; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California; Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California; Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio; and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.

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