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Small town of Berlin Heights remembers Navy Corpsman Max Soviak who was killed in Kabul bombing

Max Soviak Sign
Posted at 10:34 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:58:37-04

BERLIN HEIGHTS, Ohio — Hundreds of people arrived in the small town of Berlin Heights to remember Max Soviak.

Soviak, 22, was a Navy Corpsman. He died in the Aug. 26th bombing at the Kabul Airport.

"There were flags everywhere coming through the country," said one of those who turned out -- Barb Cook.

On the way into Berlin Heights on this late summer night, it was hard to miss the patriotism and the purpose for all the flags.

Max's sister Kathleen stood at a podium in front of the crowd sharing memories of her brother.

"Wish we never had to know how nice y'all were, but you've been incredible," said Kathleen Soviak.

Less than 650 people live in Berlin Heights, but the small town swelled around 6 p.m. on Sunday when people started showing up to support the Soviak family.

So many people arrived, the vigil was moved from the church to a school lawn. It was a school where Max Soviak was once a student.

"He walked into a room and made you feel like you were one of his," Kathleen Soviak said about her brother's ability to make family wherever he went.

Soviak said her brother saw military life as family life. That's why people like Gold Star mother Renee Scheinder showed up.

"I think right now they're probably - I would say - numb," Scheinder said before the 20-minute vigil started.

Schneider's son died in December 2019. She understands what it means to have people at a vigil like the one on Sunday.

"They'll look back on this and know that we're all here," she said.

Max Soviak was one of the 13 men and women killed on the attack. All of them were less than 32 years old. Their remains were returned to the United States earlier in the day.

"Every time I see a flag, it makes me think of them," Scheinder said. Every single time."

RELATED: Sandusky-area Navy medic among U.S. troops killed in attack near Kabul airport