Sponsored by Idaho Falls Community Hospital
clear sky
humidity: 78%
wind: 1mph SW
H 47 • L 46

Two friends inviting you to walk with them 13 miles for 13 troops killed in Kabul attack

Idaho Falls

Share This

IDAHO FALLS— Two 18-year-olds are planning to walk 13 miles to honor the 13 U.S. troops that were killed in last week’s Kabul airport attack, and they’re inviting you to join them.

“It’s important to remember people like that, the legacy they carried on, the sacrifices they made for our freedom,” said Tayden Towers.

Towers and his friend Nick James are from Idaho Falls and come from families with military backgrounds.

“My family has been serving. We actually have been serving since the Civil War. My dad was in the Army, and my grandfather was in the Navy, and it goes way back. I plan on continuing that legacy,” said Towers.

Towers said he spent six months at a military academy near the National Guard in Pierce, where he was able to gain military experience.

“I really enjoyed my time there,” he said.

James said his dad is currently working in the Navy as an officer. Both friends plan to enlist.

Watching the news and seeing what happened in Afghanistan doesn’t deter them.

“It actually kind of motivates me a little bit to be better and to strive for excellence. Honestly, with what’s going on in the world, I might just enlist sooner than I was actually expecting,” said Towers.

“I had actually planned on enlisting in March of next year, and now I am going to do January because of the situation going on around here. It’s pressing, and I feel like I need to get out there as soon as possible,” added James.

Towers said to honor the 13 fallen troops, he’ll be carrying our nation’s flag for the 13-mile walk.

He said they would be walking with their families and friends on Sunday at 10 a.m. and meeting at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Idaho Falls. They will walk the entire greenbelt, then to Freeman Park, and finish at the Idaho State Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Anyone is welcome to come and join them to honor the fallen troops.

“I’d like to see as many people there as possible,” Towers said.

The troops who passed ranged in age from 20 to 31 and came from California, Massachusetts, and states in between, like 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum of Jackson, Wyoming. He enlisted on his 18th birthday.

RELATED: ‘He was going to be the best dad.’ Expectant father from Jackson killed in Kabul airport attack.

“It just hits home a little more differently because they were just kids, really. They had families, they had wives, they had husbands, they had futures. It was taken away way too easily,” said Towers.