Gold Star Father Arrested At Biden’s State Of The Union As Son Was Killed During Afghanistan Debacle

 March 9, 2024

During President Joe Biden's recent State of the Union address, a moment of raw emotion disrupted the proceedings in a manner rarely seen on such a formal occasion. A Gold Star father, overcome with grief and frustration, interrupted the speech, leading to his removal and subsequent handcuffing. This incident throws a stark light on the enduring sorrow and critique by families of those who fell during the tumultuous exit from Afghanistan.

According to Daily Mail, Steve Nikoui, a Gold Star father, could no longer contain his anguish during the address. He vocally reminded those present of "Abbey Gate," referencing the location where his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui tragically lost his life in 2021 during the Kabul airport attack. This act of protest came from a place of deep loss, emblematic of the broader despair felt by families who bore the brunt of the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Kareem M. Nikoui perished at the tender age of 20 amidst a suicide attack that claimed the lives of 13 service members, marking a sorrowful conclusion to America's longest war. The attack unfolded on August 26, 2021, in a year resonant with significance—matching Kareem’s birth year and two years after his high school graduation.

Response Goes Viral

In a public expression of his grief and critique, Steve Nikoui condemned the military hierarchy and President Biden for the decisions that led to his son's untimely demise. "They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security. I blame my military leaders… Biden turned his back on him. That's it."

This sad chapter underscored not only the risks associated with the hasty evacuation but also the personal toll on families left to navigate their overwhelming loss. Besides the American casualties, over 160 Afghans also fell victim to the deadly Abbey Gate attack.

The repercussions of Kareem Nikoui's death ripple through his family, particularly affecting his brother, Dakota Halverson. Halverson's despair led to a heartrending decision as he struggled with the void left by Kareem’s absence. Around the first anniversary of his brother's death, overcome by grief, Dakota ended his own life.

A family's unending pain and a nation's reflection

Shana Chappell, Kareem's mother, shared insights into Dakota Halverson’s profound sorrow through a poignant revelation.He started expressing that Kareem was gone, and that he just wanted to be with him. And how much he misses him and loves him. He would say it bothers him that Kareem's here alone. This loss reverberates beyond the immediate family, serving as a somber reminder of the long shadow cast by conflict and the personal sacrifices made by our servicemen and women and their loved ones.

Steve Nikoui’s presence at the State of the Union, courtesy of Rep. Brian Mast, was with a purpose—seeking accountability for the perceived failures in the Afghanistan withdrawal strategy. Nevertheless, his emotional outburst and subsequent removal from the event, approximately 50 minutes into the speech, only underscored the profound grief and lingering questions surrounding the operations.

Recent revelations in a new book suggest missed opportunities to counter the terror group responsible for the Abbey Gate attack, hindered by the collaboration with the Taliban. Such insights add layers to the ongoing debate regarding strategic decisions and their unforeseen consequences.


The State of the Union address was abruptly interrupted by Steve Nikoui, a Gold Star father whose son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui was killed during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. This incident brought to the forefront the enduring grief and criticism from service members' families. Steve Nikoui blames the military leadership and President Biden for his son's death, a sentiment echoed in his vocal protest during the address.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan, and particularly the Abbey Gate attack, resulted in significant loss of life, including over 160 Afghans, and profound personal tragedies such as the death of Dakota Halverson, who could not bear the loss of his brother. Amidst this backdrop, revelations hint at missed opportunities to thwart the attackers, further complicating the narrative around the withdrawal.

This story encapsulates not only the personal anguish of one family but also the broader, lingering wounds of a conflict that has left indelible marks on many.

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