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Tipsheet

Kabul Gold Star Parents: This Is Why We Know the ISIS-K Attack Was Avoidable

Marine Staff Sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover was a "fun loving kid" who was "full of sun shine" and had a passion for football, according to parents Darin Hoover and Kelly Barnett.

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Hoover was the highest ranking U.S. service member killed in the ISIS-K attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport's Abbey Gate on August 26, 2021 during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. When the country was starting to be taken over by the Taliban, Hoover's parents felt "uneasy" at the likelihood he would be sent to Kabul.

"After we figured out what it was...a humanitarian mission, supposed to be a humanitarian mission, that's where he was supposed to be. That's what he was supposed to be doing and, like I said, he was good at his job. He was good at being a Marine," Hoover's father said.

In last conversation she had with her son, Barnett told Hoover to get back safe, get his men back safe, and to get as many people out as he could.

"And he said, 'Yes, ma'am, I will do it,'" Barnett said.

On August 26, Barnett was working when she saw the news of the explosion.

"I thought to myself, 'You know, there's 6,500 of them over there. I'm sure it's not him.' I know that's horrible to say and to think that and hope that it was someone else's child. But that's what I was doing. I was thinking, 'There's 13 of them, it's not my son, it's not Taylor,'" Barnett explained.

"I was up at work and my Dad called me. And my Dad never cries. If you know my Dad, that man never cries. He called me on the phone. He told that there were two Marines standing at the front door of the house. And I lost it. I knew what that meant," the elder Hoover recalled.

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As with other Gold Star families from the attack, Hoover knows the suicide bombing was avoidable.

"Some of the kids that were there...have said that they requested permission on several different occasions because they had seen [the bomber] come in. They had requested several times to take the shot and were denied," he said. "It should've been taken care of."

"Why was it so rushed?" he asked about the overall plan. "Why could it not be done in increments?"

Hoover's family decided to not speak with President Joe Biden when they attended the dignified transfers at Dover Air Force base because they were too angry and upset over the situation.

"I did not go to have an argument with President Biden. He, to me, is a completely incompetent, I can't even say leader," said Barnett.

Watch Townhall's full interview with Hoover's family in the video above.

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