Here's a look at those who were killed:
Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen, 36, of Plymouth, Minnesota, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida.
As a gay service member, Vorderbruggen was a strong advocate against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gay and lesbian service members from openly serving in the military. The policy was repealed in 2011.
One year later, Vorderbruggen married her partner, Heather Lamb. Vorderbruggen, 36, leaves behind her wife and young son, Jacob.
“It is important to us that she be remembered first as an Air Force officer, loving mother, wife, daughter and sister, above all else, not primarily by her sexual orientation," Lamb told The New York Times.
Staff Sergeant Peter Taub, 30, of Philadelphia, was a member of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Taub’s family runs Bub and Pops sandwich shop in Washington, D.C., a lunch favorite of ABC News staffers.
The restaurant posted a sign on its door reading, “Yesterday six members of our armed forces were killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. One of those members was Air Force Staff Sergeant Peter Taub. Pete was Arlene’s son and Chef Jon’s brother. We will be closed until future notice to mourn this horrible loss.”
ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia reported that Taub’s family was not aware he was in Afghanistan when they received word he had been killed. Taub had told family members he was deploying to Saudi Arabia, apparently because he did not want his father and pregnant wife to worry about his safety.
Technical Sergeant Joseph Lemm, 45, was also a veteran NYPD detective.
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton released a statement Monday night, saying Lemm “epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first.”
Lemm, who was from the Bronx, was deployed three times: twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Louis Bonacasa, Michael Cinco and Chester McBride
The other airmen who were killed are Staff Sergeant Louis Bonacasa of Coram, New York; Staff Sergeant Michael Cinco of Mercedes, Texas; and Staff Sergeant Chester McBride from Statesboro, Georgia.
The bodies of the six airmen will be received at Dover Air Force Base Wednesday in a dignified transfer ceremony.