The Marine captured in a photo cooing over a rescued Afghan infant last week was identified as one of the 13 US service members slaughtered in Thursday’s terror attack in Kabul.
“I love my job,” Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, captioned the Aug. 20 snap on Instagram, showing her peering down at the baby in her arms.
The photo was later picked up by the Pentagon and shared on its Twitter account.
“U.S. military service members comfort infants at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan,” the Department of Defense wrote to accompany a series of candid photos showing camo-clad warriors on babysitting duty.
Gee, a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was from Roseville, Calif., Stars & Stripes reported.
She last posted on Instagram on Aug. 22 — a photo showing her watching over a long line of evacuees as they boarded an airplane to flee Kabul.
“Escorting evacuees onto the bird,” Gee wrote with a heart emoji.
Gee was a “model Marine,” according to Capt. Karen Holliday, who mourned Gee’s loss on her personal Facebook page.
“She was doing God’s work…..a warrior,” Holliday wrote, adding that Gee had recently earned a meritorious promotion to sergeant and boasted perfect fitness scores.
Gee had been assigned to assist women and girls at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport as they fled Taliban repression.
Sgt. Mallory Harrison, Gee’s roommate in the house they shared at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune, posted a heartbreaking Facebook tribute to her friend late Friday.
“I find peace knowing that she left this world doing what she loved,” Harrison wrote. “She was a Marine’s Marine. She cared about people. She loved fiercely. She was a light in this dark world.”
But she was fixed on the thought of Gee’s car, which Harrison had been maintaining in her buddy’s absence.
“Her car is still there, & she’s gone forever,” Harrison wrote.