California carpenter Steve Nikoui described Thursday as an “excruciating day”. He knew his son Kareem, a young U.S. Marine, was stationed at the Kabul airport. But when he heard there had been a bombing there, he had no idea if Kareem was alive or dead.
“I stayed home from work yesterday because there was that attack and I knew he was there,” Nikoui told The Daily Beast early Friday morning. “So all day, I was glued to the TV.” Just hours after the U.S. military warned of an imminent terror threat, a suicide bombing rocked Hamid Karzai International Airport and the surrounding area. At least 13 U.S. service members were killed, and another 18 were wounded. Scores of Afghans also died in the terror attack.
Steve Nikoui said he knew the Marines contacted the families of anyone killed in action “within eight hours.” Right about 7:15 p.m. PT, “these young men walked up,” he said. They first appeared on Nikoui’s phone, which was linked to his doorbell camera, he explained. He had been watching the news for any word of his son or his comrades, and wanted to make sure he intercepted any bad news before his wife and other son got home and saw a clutch of Marines standing there.
The Marines who came to deliver the news of Kareem’s death were “more choked up than me,” Nikoui said. “I haven’t gone to bed all night,” Nikoui continued. “I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on.” As of right now, Nikoui’s plan is to go to Dover, Delaware, and pick up his son’s remains.
Nikoui expressed fanger along with his anguish. He said he wants to “respect the office” of the president, but doesn’t have much love for President Joe Biden at the moment. A Trump supporter, Nikoui was happy that Trump was in office when Kareem joined the Marines.
“I really believed this guy didn’t want to send people into harm’s way,” he said. “They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” said Nikoui. “I blame my own military leaders… Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”