Last Sunday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield donned a pair of custom spikes with a portrait of 3rd Class Hospital Corpsman Maxton “Max” Soviak, one of 13 US personnel killed in the bombing. suicide on August 26 at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Looking for a way to pay tribute to the 22-year-old Navy veteran from Berlin Heights, Ohio, Mayfield reached out to artist Marcus Rivero. The collaboration resulted in a pair of custom shoes featuring Soviak in his Navy uniform alongside the words “Rest In Peace Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak”.
“When @bakermayfield reached out to have them made for an American hero, I knew we had to get there,” Rivero wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.
Soviak was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton when deployed to assist with evacuation efforts in Kabul alongside other rapid response detachments.
Following the ISIS-K attack on August 26 at the Abbey Gate of the airport, the Soviak commander told the soldier’s family that he had helped an Afghan mother and child at the time of the explosion.
“The last thing he said to me was ‘Nothing too crazy’, which is typical of Max,” said Marilyn, Soviak’s sister. “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.
Soviak’s remains were returned to Ohio on September 8. He was laid to rest on September 13 in the nearby city of Milan following a memorial service at Edison High School, the sailor’s alma mater.
Navy Times reporter Diana Stancy Correll contributed to this report.
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JD Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.