The grieving father of a U.S. Marine killed in a suicide attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul just days after she shared the now iconic photo of her cradling an Afghan baby described his daughter in a heartbreaking new interview as his “hero” and a true “warrior.”
“She’s a hero. She’s a warrior,” Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee’s father, Richard Herrera, told NBC’s “TODAY” in a recent interview from his home in Roseville, Calif. On Aug. 20, Gee had shared a photo to Instagram of her cradling an Afghan baby at the airport in Kabul, captioning the image, “I love my job.”
Filled with pride, Herrera quickly shared the photo with friends and family. Six days later, Gee was one of the 13 service members killed on Aug. 26 when a bomb went off outside Abbey Gate. Asked by NBC’s Erin McLaughlin what he sees in that photo now, Herrera answered “Just my baby. My baby.”
“It broke me for a while,” Herrera said of his daughter’s death. “It hit me hard.”
Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California, was a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Brig. Gen. Forrest C. Poole III, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, said his unit mourned “the immense loss of Sgt. Gee,” and the others. (Read more from “Father of Marine Seen Cradling Afghan Infant Reacts to Daughter’s Death” HERE)
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