He had the joy of living.
This is how family and friends remembered Navy Fleet Marine Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Maxton “Max” W. Soviak at the funeral Monday in Milan, Ohio. The young sailor was one of 13 U.S. servicemen killed in an ISIS-K attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26.
“Maxton was MAX in all caps, the whole time,” Soviak’s sister, Kathleen, said at the funeral. “He embarked on everything he did with fierce passion. We saw him during his high school years with his sports career. And once Maxton grew into an adult, he developed a passion for life.
Kathleen, one of Soviak’s 12 siblings, detailed many of Soviak’s adventures since joining the Navy, including being stationed in Guam and finding a CrossFit community, diving cliffs into the ocean, and swimming with it. sharks in Florida.
Despite these trips around the world, Kathleen said her brother never “forgot the importance of home” and made family a priority.
“He officiated not one, but two weddings, including our sister’s,” said Kathleen. “And my most memorable personal moment of him that day was his solo dance on ‘In the Navy’ in the middle of the dance floor.”
Soviak, 22, was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., And first enlisted in the Navy in 2017. He died along with 11 other Marines and a soldier helping to process Afghan refugees at the airport abbey. Portal.
“In Max’s last days he was spending his time helping others stay alive as he had developed a passion to protect and save the lives of others,” said Kathleen. “So much so that he was willing to risk his own life and made the ultimate sacrifice. “
Local residents and family friends packed the soccer field at Edison High School, Soviak’s Alma Mater, for his memorial service. The stadium was installed with 635 field seats – one less than the population of Soviak’s neighboring hometown of Berlin Heights, Ohio, at the time of his death. An internment closed to the media followed the funeral services.
“For anyone who wants to honor Maxton’s memory, here’s what I have to offer you: go live,” said Kathleen. “Fill the book of your life with stories. Push yourself to do something that scares you. Go bigger, go stronger and most of all, love fiercely.
Several of Soviak’s siblings also shared memories they had with their brother, including how Soviak texted the family two days before his death to remind them to be grateful for having the one another.
“I have so many memories with Max, but I should have so many more”, said Marilyn, Soviak’s sister. “Max was so full of life. He loved to try new things, see the world and make a difference.
“The last thing he said to me was ‘Nothing too crazy’ which is typical of Max,” said Marilyn. “He always thought he was invincible, and I guess we did too. He died doing what he was passionate about, surrounded by his brothers, and that brings me a little peace.
According to Soviak’s father, Kip, his son was loyal, compassionate and “family oriented.” Soviak even chose number 27 for his soccer jersey because it was the opposite of his father’s number: 72. In addition, the date 2/7 was the wedding anniversary of Soviak’s parents and one of the her sister’s birthdays, “so that made a lot of sense,” Kip said.
His father also recounted that he and Soviak’s mother, Rachel, spoke with their son’s commander and learned that Soviak provided assistance to a mother and her child during the attack on the Islamic State-K.
“It was while providing aid that the bomber crept into chaos and struck,” Kip said. “Our son did not suffer.
Soviak’s remains were returned to Ohio on September 8. The Navy also announced last week that he was posthumously promoted to the rank of 3rd Class Hospital Corps and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Fleet Marine Force Corpsman War Badge.
“Petty Officer Soviak made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of this country,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a statement. “While this promotion and the Fleet Marine Force Corpsman war badge are awarded posthumously, I have no doubt that his dedication to this nation, his displayed skills as a Hospital Corpsman and his dedication to the mission at hand justifies this acknowledgement.”