Maxton Soviak, one of the U.S. servicemen killed in the suicide bomber attack during the troops’ evacuation in Afghanistan, was laid to rest on Monday. Koviak was just twenty-two years old when he was killed on August 26th. He was a part of the mission to get thousands of people out of Afghanistan when the 20 year-old conflict ended. The mission was called Operation Allies Refuge. The Edison High School stadium, where funeral goers watched a flyover, were packed to honor Soviak. A C-130 transport plane from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 164th Airlift Squadron did the flyover before the funeral began. The governor of Ohio and his wife, Mike and Fran DeWine were in attendance with Lieutenant Jon Husted. Friends, family, and other members of the community were also there along with current members of the armed forces, retired members, and a Navy admiral.
In the middle of the field, 635 chairs were lined up. Connie Ward, the mayor of Berlin Heights where Soviak was from, explained that until he unfortunately passed away there were 636 residents. She expressed for the community that he will be missed dearly. Maxton Soviak was in the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton in California. He was killed with twelve other U.S. servicemen at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. After his death, the Navy promoted Soviak to Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class and posthumously awarded him the Purple Heart and Fleet Marine Corpsman warfare badge.
He gave medical assistance to Marines and was called by Doc or Devil Doc by the Marines he served with. His family spoke at the funeral. His sister Kathleen said he did everything with a fierce passion and had a fearless, love of life personality. She also encouraged everyone there to live their lives, push themselves, and fill their books with stories. Maxton Soviak’s body was welcomed home last week with veterans on motorcycles that followed his funeral procession for the last eight miles to his hometown. The streets were lined to see the procession.
Edison Local Schools, Soviak’s Alma Mater, honored him by painting his old football number on the field, a moment of silence, and a flyover at a Friday night game. According to his sister Kathleen, he traveled often chasing adventures like snowboarding and ice skating in Tokyo, swimming with sharks in Florida, jet skiing in the Pacific Ocean, snorkeling and deep sea fishing, and bouldering in Colorado. His other sister, Josie Soviak said he always let their family know how lucky he was to have them.
Josie said goodbye to her brother by talking about how he always started off his letters from the base with, “hey little sister” and ended them with, “love, your big brother”. She also said she will see him again and that she is immensely proud of him. Soviak’s father Kip said Maxton was kind, loyal, family-driven, competitive, compassionate, very smart, and fierce. Kip Soviak also wanted to honor other servicemen who have lost their lives because the number of people who came to the funeral was so many.
Soviak’s parents learned from his commanding officer that in his last moments, Maxton was helping a mother and child. Pictures were shown at the funeral of him helping lost children without parents and getting them to safety. Kip Soviak ended the service by reciting the names of all servicemen that were killed the same day as his son. He called every man a hero, including his son. Soviak’s friend, Bryce Ostheimer, said that he helped people who needed him without a second thought, just like he did in Afghanistan. He also said his friend Maxton was strong and did whatever he needed to do.
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