Family, Friends Honor California Marines Killed in Afghanistan

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They died serving their country and on Saturday, they were remembered as heroes. 

Family and friends honored California Marines killed during an attack in the final days of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Sergeant Nicole Gee of Roseville was just 23 years old when she was killed in an attack on the Kabul airport and hundreds gathered for a somber tribute to the young woman.

Her family said she gave her life doing what she loved and her fellow marines describe Gee as humble and selfless.

Staff Sergeant Connor Mitchell said she made a lasting impression when he trained her.

“Just her personality, her work ethic and her drive made us want to be one step better so we could feel like we were fit to lead her,” he said.

Just days before her death, Gee posted a photo of herself on social media, holding a baby with the caption “I love my job.”

At the tribute, even those who didn't know her personally came to pay their respects and recognize the cost of doing that job.

In Southern California, another marine was honored at a Riverside Church.

A final salute to Marine Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, killed in the same August attack.

“We were told just before Kareem passed, he saved three families and passed up a child and when he ran back into the crowd that's when his life was taken,” said sister Shyler Chappell. “It didn't surprise me if those were his last moments.”

Nikoui was just 20 years old. His father Steve says he is taking comfort in the strong faith he and his son both shared.

“Do me a favor when you go to heaven do look for my son,” he said. “And he won't be hard to find because he’ll be the Marine handing out candy to children."

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