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Gold Star Fathers Blast Biden For Looking At Watch During Dignified Transfer: ‘Most Disrespectful Thing’
US President Joe Biden looks down alongside First Lady Jill Biden as they attend the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member 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 fathers Mark Schmitz and Darin Hoover slammed President Joe Biden during a Fox News interview on Monday night for appearing to repeatedly look at his watch while participating in the dignified transfer of the 13 U.S. service members who died in a terrorist attack last week in Kabul.

“In reference to the checking of his watch, that didn’t happen just once,” said Hoover, who lost his son, Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, in the attack. “That happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one – all 13 – he looked down at his watch.”

“As a father, you know, seeing that and the disrespect, and hearing from his former leaders, one of his master sergeants said exactly what you just said, that this was avoidable, that they left them over there,” he continued. “They let them down, we can’t have that. It can’t happen ever again.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity asked Schmitz, who lost his son, Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, what he thought about the watch incident.

“I actually leaned into my son’s mother’s ear in I said I swear to god if he checks his watch one more time and was probably only four times in, I couldn’t look at him anymore after that,” Schmitz said. “Considering especially  the time and why we were there, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”


The Washington Post reported that a similar incident allegedly happened when Biden met with a family member from a different family that lost a loved one:

Some of the grieving relatives felt a need to interact directly with the president after losing their loved one, including Jiennah McCollum, who married [Marine Corps Lance Cpl.] Rylee McCollum just six months ago and is due to give birth to the couple’s child next month.

“Gigi wanted to look him in the eye and hear him,” McCollum’s sister Roice said in a text message to The Washington Post, using Jiennah’s nickname.

Roice recounted that Jiennah left disappointed. The president, she said, kept checking his watch and bringing up Beau.

“He cannot possibly understand,” Roice told The Washington Post. “My dad and I did not want to speak to him. You cannot kneel on our flag and pretend you care about our troops. You can’t f— up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry. This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands. The thousands of Afghans who will suffer and be tortured is a direct result of his incompetence.”

Related: Biden Meeting With Pregnant Wife Of Marine Killed In Kabul ‘Scripted And Shallow,’ ‘Total Disregard To The Loss,’ Family Claims

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