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Biden to attend dignified transfer of US service members killed in drone attack

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Friday will attend the dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base of the three U.S. Army reservists killed Sunday in a drone strike in Jordan.

Accompanying him will be first lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. CQ Brown.

They will meet with the families privately before receiving the remains, the White House said.

The Pentagon announced on Monday that Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross, Georgia; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah, Georgia, were killed in a drone attack over the weekend on the U.S. base in Jordan near the border with Syria and Iraq.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that Biden had spoken with families of the fallen.

“He expressed to them how proud we all are of their service, how we mourn and feel sorrow over their loss, made sure that those families knew that, not only was that service and sacrifice, going to be honored and respected, but that they would continue to get the support that they need as they work through what no family wants to have to go through,” he said.

Kirby said that during those phone calls Biden gauged the families’ feelings about his attending the dignified transfer at Dover.

“All of them supported his presence there and so the president will be going to the dignified transfer on Friday,” he said.

Deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton said Thursday that it is protocol for the president to ask Gold Star families for their permission to attend a dignified transfer.

This will be Biden’s second time attending the somber occasion since taking office.

He last attended a dignified transfer in August 2021 to receive the remains of service members killed in the Kabul airport bombing in Afghanistan.

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