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Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak Of Ohio One Of 13 Service Members Killed In Kabul Attack

BERLIN HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, of Ohio, was one of the 13 service members killed Thursday while supporting non-combatant evacuation operations in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, died during an attack at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport, the Department of Defense said Saturday.

He enlisted in September 2017 and attended Hospital Corpsman School in San Antonio, Texas, before postings in Guam and at Camp Pendleton.

Soviak lived in Berlin Heights and graduated from Edison High School in 2017, where he also wrestled and played football. At Friday night's football game, fans honored him with a moment of silence.

During his final two years of high school, Soviak also attended a career center where he took electrical classes.

"Max always was smiling. We had a lot of good conversations. Max was good for pulling shenanigans and liked to get other people to laugh," said Vince Ragnoni, his electrical technology teacher.

The two sometimes talked about Soviak's future and where he was headed.

"Sometimes he wasn't real sure about that," said Ragnoni, who was his instructor for half of every school day.

Soviak's parents were always involved at school, Ragnoni said.

"He was just really, really loved by his parents. He was just a friendly soul," he said.

It was sometime during his senior year that he first heard Soviak talk about joining the military. Ragnoni said they last talked just after he graduated.

"He had just joined the Navy and he started telling me about what he'd be doing," Ragnoni said. "I thanked him for his service. I told him I knew he would do great things. He was happy and excited about that."

Word of his death spread quickly through the village of Berlin Heights.

A stream of family and friends, some carrying containers filled with food, stopped throughout the day Friday to visit the house where Soviak's parents live. Someone early in the day sent boxes of pizza.

Their home, with a U.S. flag lowered to half-staff in the front yard, sits on a street that's lined with the Stars and Stripes from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

By late in the afternoon, more flags appeared along the street, one of two main routes through the village.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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