Humberto Sanchez, a 22-year-old Indiana Marine corporal, was among the 13 American service members killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.
Logansport High School principal Matt Jones said Sanchez graduated from the school in 2017 and thanked Sanchez on Twitter for “serving our country in uniform and sacrifice.” Jones said Sanchez was one of six people in his class to enlist in the Marines and that he was a popular, active student who was honored to serve his country.
“Humberto was a bright, athletic young man,” Jones told the IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY network, in an email.
He played varsity soccer, took honors and dual credit college classes, and was in the homecoming court his senior year, Jones said. He was also a dedicated artist who took many art classes.
“We’re forever indebted to the service men and women who risk it all to protect others,” Logansport Community School Corporation tweeted. “We will never forget the names of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
In a Facebook post, U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, whose district includes Logansport, where Sanchez is from, asked Hoosiers to pray for the Marine’s family.
“He bravely answered the call to serve his nation, and I am both proud of his service and deeply saddened by his loss,” Baird wrote in the Facebook post. “May we never forget Corporal Sanchez’s name or his heroism to a grateful nation.”
In a Facebook post of his own, Sen. Mike Braun called Sanchez “an American hero.”
“His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Braun wrote.
In a statement published Friday afternoon, before news of Sanchez’s death circulated, Gov. Eric Holcomb asked Hoosiers to remember the soldiers killed in Kabul. Holcomb also directed flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday.
“As a country and as a state we need to be unified in honoring and paying our respects to the ones who paid the ultimate price,” the statement said.
Sen. Todd Young, who served in the Marines himself, tweeted “we must never forget his bravery and his sacrifice.“
Chris Martin, the mayor of the northern Indiana city of 17,500, announced the community had lost one of its own. To honor Sanchez’s memory, the mayor called on others “to continue the ripple effect of making a positive change in our world.”
“This young man had not yet even turned 30 and still had his entire life ahead of him,” Martin said in a Facebook post Friday night. “Any plans he may have had for his post-military life were given in sacrifice due to the heart he exhibited in putting himself into harm’s way to safeguard the lives of others.”
While Martin did not identify Sanchez, the local school and Indiana members of Congress later did. As of Friday night, the governor’s office said it had not yet been officially notified of the Sanchez’s death
Thirteen U.S. service members – 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman and an Army soldier – and at least 169 Afghan people died in Thursday’s bombing attack, which unfolded as American and allied forces were scrambling to evacuate people from Afghanistan.
Contributing: Christine Fernando, Michael Collins and Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY; Ethan May, Indianapolis Star