Brother of Marine killed in Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal commits suicide at memorial site

After the brother of a fallen U.S. Marine killed during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan took his own life at his sibling’s memorial ahead of the one-year anniversary, their grieving mother called out the “ripple effect” of President Joe Biden’s decisions.

On Aug. 26, 2021, 20-year-old LCpl Kareem Nikoui of Norco, California was one of 13 U.S. service members killed by a suicide bomber at the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Shana Chappell, Nikoui’s mother, had been openly critical of Biden since suffering that loss, but now her grief includes the death of her 28-year-old son Dakota Halverson as well.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department confirmed in a press release that on Aug. 9, Halverson died at the site of his younger brother’s memorial and it was later determined to be a suicide.

“The month Of August has been very hard so far with the one year coming up,” Chappell posted to Facebook. “I look at my kids as strong and like they can handle anything. That was my mistake. My son Dakota has been talking a lot lately about how he just wants to be with Kareem, how much he misses him, etc… We all feel that way so i didn’t see the signs. This morning my son Dakota went to be with His brother Kareem.”

In a later statement, she went on to describe how Halverson would “sneak into the cemetery at night and sleep on Kareem’s resting place” and noted how important it was to look for the signs that a loved one’s struggles may be worse than you think.

After that, she concluded that those struggles were part of a broader problem as she stipulated of Biden’s withdrawal, “I’m not gonna make this a political post but this is the ripple effect! Now my kids have lost another brother. My family has lost another loving family member and Dakotas friends have lost a true friend! I’m still in shock over this and honestly when the shock wears off i don’t know how i am gonna pull through this.”

The grieving mother included hashtags for suicide awareness and “fjb.”

Her criticism of the administration has been ongoing as she and Nikoui’s father, Steve Nikoui, have repeatedly spoken to the media about how those in charge have not taken responsibility for the failings in Kabul. In January, they appeared on “Fox & Friends” where Chappell said of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and other military leaders, “I’m still waiting for them to be held accountable. For some reason, they want to put the blame on everyone but themselves, but it is actually their fault all of this happened. The 13 that are dead is their fault.”

Chappell had also invited former President Donald Trump to Nikoui’s funeral instead of Biden, stating at the time, “It would be such an honor to meet the real President of the United States of America, President Trump. I love you and America loves you.”

Nikoui’s parents aren’t the only ones calling for accountability as Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) posted to social media upon learning of Halverson’s death, “The older brother of one of the 13 KIA in Kabul recently killed himself at his little brother’s memorial. Please pray for his family. There MUST be accountability for this continued carnage.”

Chappell has since created a GoFundMe page to pay for Halverson’s burial and to fulfill his wish that he be with his brother. At the time of this posting, it has nearly doubled its $20,000 goal with almost $38,000 raised and the mother wrote, “Dakota Halverson was a loving son, brother and friend. Losing his brother nearly one year ago has proven too difficult to bear. Any donations for his burial and services would be greatly appreciated as he wanted to be buried next to his brother Kareem, who was killed August 26th, 2021, while serving his country. His family and I want to honor his wishes.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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