KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bipartisan measure to posthumously award East Tennessee Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss and 12 other servicemembers with Congress' highest award: the Congressional Gold Medal.
Staff Sgt. Knauss, who was a Gibbs High School graduate, and 12 other servicemembers were killed in an attack outside Kabul's airport in the final days of the Afghanistan evacuation.
On Tuesday, the House voted to pass legislation cosponsored by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to honor the fallen servicemembers with the Congressional Gold Medal.
The bill, if signed into law, would award the medal to Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole Gee, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, and Hospitalman Maxton Soviak.
"It's the least we can do for the 13 brave servicemembers killed during our withdrawal from Afghanistan back in August," Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville) said before the vote. "Of course, he was killed by helping complete strangers, and that's what he loved to do. He loved helping, he loved helping folks. We were all devastated by his loss, but our community is very strong."