Tributes to 13 fallen U.S. troops pop-up around Michigan

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:24:10-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Along a stretch of road in Walker, a striking, somber tribute sticks out along the curve.

Thirteen empty chairs draped in old glory, each one represents one of the thirteen service members killed in the attack at Kabul airport.

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Tribute for fallen troops at home in Walker, Mich.

Army Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Tennessee.

Marine Lance Corporal David Espinoza, 20, of Texas

Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of California

Marine Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, 31, of Utah.

Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of California

Marine Lance Corporal Dylan Merola, 20, of California

Marine Lance Corporal Rylee McColllum, 20, of Wyoming

Marine Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, 20, of California

Marine Corporal Daegan Page, 23, of Nebraska.

Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Massachusetts

Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, 20, of Missouri.

Marine Corporal Humberto Sanchez, 22, of Indiana.

Navy medic Maxton Soviak, 22, of Ohio.

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(Left to right, top to bottom) Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover

The chairs surround an American Flag flying at half-mast.

Though none of the fallen troops hailed from Michigan, their selfless service earned them a spot in hearts across Michigan and across nations; their lives won’t be forgotten.

The empty chair tribute not the only one in town, a spot for the fallen troops saved in places across West Michigan, like at the Holiday Bar in Grand Rapids.

A booth is now reserved, adorned with flowers and 13 beers for our heroes, who sacrificed everything so others could find hope and freedom.

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Table reserved for fallen heroes at Holiday Bar in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Know of any other tributes in our area? Let us know about them by emailing or messaging on social media.