U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (R-OH-09) have reacted with grief and tributes to the Sandusky area Navy hospital corpsman killed on August 26 at the Kabul International Airport as the American military continues to withdraw troops and civilians from Afghanistan.

The military named sailor Maxton William Soviak as one of 13 American military personnel killed in two terrorist attacks at a hotel and nearby gate of the Kabul airport where American forces and civilians are getting airlifted out in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the southwestern Asian country.

Portman (R-OH) sent out a statement Friday morning that reads, “(Soviak) was a hero who died serving with his Marine brothers (who were) helping to save fellow countrymen and our Afghan allies.”

“We mourn his loss and are praying for his friends and family,” Portman added.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine early this morning ordered U.S. and Ohio flags flown at half staff at all public buildings in honor of  all of those killed. The order expires at sunset on August 30.

In a statement, DeWine offered his “heartfelt condolences.”

“Max Soviak chose to dedicate his life to helping others,” the statement reads, “and he will never be forgotten.”

Brown (D-OH) said Soviak “dies a hero serving his country and working to save those fleeing imminent danger. My thoughts are with his family, who received the hardest news any parent can hear.”

Kaptur, the Toledo Democrat whose district includes Soviak’s hometown of Berlin Heights in Erie County, also recognized Soviak’s valor.

“Our nation mourns the loss of Navy Corpsman Max Soviak who’s uncommon courage in the face of unfathomable danger ensured the safe passage of countless civilians,” the statement reads. “We will never be able to repay the debt we owe him, but we will forever be grateful for his willingness to serve when America needed him most.”

A few other tributes also flowed into The Ohio Star.

Josh Mandel, former Ohio treasurer and current U.S. Senate candidate for the GOP nomination, recognized the key role corpsmen fill in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“When I was in the Marines, the Navy corpsman took care of us and we took care of them,” Mandel writes in his statement. “We saw them as brothers and this loss is a really tough one for Ohio, America and the Corps.”

Former congressman and current gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci also lauded Soviak’s sacrificial service to America.

“This may be happening half a world away,” Renacci writes in his statement, “but this loss will be felt right here at home.”

Soviak, an athlete and 2017 graduate of Edison High School, will be remembered tonight with a moment of silence before kickoff at the Edison vs. Bellevue football game, according to the Sandusky Register.

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Brian Ball is a reporter for The Ohio Star and Star News Network. Share news tip with him at bball@theohiostar.com
Photo “Max Soviak” by Max Soviak. Background Photo “Kabul Explosion” by VOA News.