ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — The family of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee are mourning the Roseville local’s death after she was identified as one of the 13 U.S. servicemembers killed in Kabul earlier this week.
“I was very proud of her,” said Richard Herrera, Gee’s father. “What she did was unexpected. Everything she did, she always excelled.”
Herrera said his daughter was always a good student when she attended Oakmont High School in Roseville.
“She always got straight A’s,” Herrera said. “She was a very good kid.”
Gee graduated from Oakmont High School in 2016. Flags have been flying at half-staff on campus, not only to pay tribute to what happened in Kabul, but to honor Gee’s life.
“After I saw the attacks, I assumed she was safe,” Herrera said. “And then, the next morning, I got the call that she didn’t make it.”
The 23-year-old was one of the 11 Marines killed in Thursday’s bombing in Kabul, along with 169 Afghans and two other U.S. servicemembers.
A recent photo shows her during the mission, carrying a baby, as she and her fellow servicemembers helped evacuated refugees.
“I didn’t think she’d be outside the gates,” Herrera said. “So I didn’t think she was in that kind of position, but Nicole’s pretty determined. She wants to do that — she will.”
Gee’s older sister, Misty Fuoco, heard the news from Gee’s husband, who is in the Navy. He just happened to be in the Sacramento area visiting family during the attack.
“He gave me the news and I probably stared at him for two minutes just silent and in disbelief,” Fuoco said.
With only a two-year difference between Gee and her, Fuoco said it’s hard to talk about her sister in past-tense.
“We had a lot of plans that we had made for when she was — when she was going to come back,” Fuoco said.
While Herrera can’t bring himself to think about what he would say to his daughter one last time if she were still here, he believes she died doing what she loved most.
“The one last thing she said was it’s an unbelievable experience what she’s going through there, but it was in a good way, not a bad way — so she was happy,” Herrera said.
The Roseville Joint Union High School District released a statement saying Gee’s service to the country will never be forgotten.