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One of 13 servicemen killed in Kabul bombing a native of southwest Iowa, Senator Ernst talks with family

Photo of Daegan Page posted on a Facebook tribute site

MASON CITY — Senator Joni Ernst says one of the 13 United States service members killed in a suicide bombing at the gate of the Kabul airport in Afghanistan Thursday was a southwest Iowa native. Marine Corporal Daegan Page was from Red Oak but moved to Omaha where he graduated high school.

After an Iowa GOP fundraiser at the Mason City Municipal Airport last night, Ernst told reporters that she wasn’t able to talk to Page’s mother Wendy who was traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where the remains of Page and the other service members were taken, but she had spoken to Page’s grandmother Peggy, who is a close friend of Ernst’s mother.   “She was just so grateful that I had reached out. I told her that I loved her, I loved the family, our prayers were with them. She told me ‘please tell everybody what an amazing young man Daegan was’. She said ‘please give Libby a huge hug’. Peggy used to give Libby hugs all the time when she was a little girl, and she said, ‘because you never know when you’re not going to be able to give that child a hug’.”) Libby is Ernst’s daughter.

Ernst says the family is devastated by the death of Page.   “The family is really hurting right now, but they are very grateful for the expressions of love and support that the communities are sending to them.”

Ernst earlier in the evening told a crowd of about 200 that while between 100-200 Americans wishing to leave remain in Afghanistan that all Iowans who were in contact with her staff are out of the country.  “I’m really happy to report, for all the Iowans that had reached out to our office, all of those Iowans are out of Afghanistan now.”

Page’s family has set up a Facebook tribute page in his honor. 

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