Marine Staff Sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover was the highest ranking U.S. service member to be killed in the ISIS-K attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate on August 26, 2021. His death came amid the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that was implemented by the Biden Administration.
Hoover grew up as a “fun loving child” who his parents, Darin Hoover and Kelly Barnett, said was “full of sunshine.”
At first, Hoover’s parents were “uneasy” about their son being sent to Afghanistan because of what they knew about the Taliban, but then they found out it was a humanitarian mission.
“After we figured out what it was…a humanitarian mission, supposed to be a humanitarian mission, that’s where he was supposed to be. That’s what he was supposed to be doing and, like I said, he was good at his job. He was good at being a Marine,” Hoover’s father said.
During the last conversation Hoover had with his parents, his mother told him to get back safe, get his men back safe, and to get as many people out as he could.
“And he said, ‘Yes, ma’am, I will do it,'” Barnett said.
Then on August 26, Hoover’s mother saw the news about the explosion at the airport.
“I thought to myself, ‘You know, there’s 6,500 of them over there. I’m sure it’s not him.’ I know that’s horrible to say and to think that and hope that it was someone else’s child. But that’s what I was doing. I was thinking, ‘There’s 13 of them, it’s not my son, it’s not Taylor,'” Barnett explained.
But Kelly Barnett was wrong. Darin Taylor Hoover was killed in the explosion, and his death has left his parents full of questions.
“Some of the kids that were there…have said that they requested permission on several different occasions because they had seen [the bomber] come in. They had requested several times to take the shot and were denied,” he said. “It should’ve been taken care of.”
“Why was it so rushed?” he asked about the overall plan. “Why could it not be done in increments?”
When President Joe Biden attended the dignified transfers at Dover Air Force base, the Hoovers chose not to speak with the president.
“I did not go to have an argument with President Biden. He, to me, is a completely incompetent, I can’t even say leader,” said Barnett.