Last month, 13 members of the U.S. military lost their lives at the Kabul Airport suicide bombing in Afghanistan. In a recent heartbreaking interview, a mother of one of the Marines talks about her son and how “he wanted to protect everyone.”
PEOPLE interviewed Shana Chappell, mother to Kareem Nikoui, who lost his life in the Kabul Airport attack. “He was a go-getter. The word ‘can’t’ didn’t exist in his vocabulary because if he wanted something bad enough — like being a Marine — he was going to get it.” And get it he did. Wanting to be a Marine at 4 years old, he got his wish as a high-school senior 14 years later.
Nikoui was one of those who helped guide members of the Afghanistan women’s soccer team to safety. Chappell notes that was just like him since “he wanted to protect everyone.” Despite none of their family having a military background, Nikoui wanted to join and do something special for our country.
Nikoui’s kindness extended to everyone, with a neighbor sharing a memory of him helping with gravel. Stating he “needed the workout,” Nikoui picked up a shovel and insisted he be allowed to help. Additionally, he regularly helped family members and competed in jiu-jitsu competitions.
Nikoui even enjoyed making “really cool” video games on his computer, Chappell said. “Me and his younger brother would get characters named after us and Kareem would have us try them out. He even got his dad and sisters involved.”
A few days before he died, Nikoui sent his family a group text saying he’d bought Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Serving as his favorite childhood movie, he suggested they all watch it online under his Amazon account together. Sadly, they were never able to.
Charity Awards Pregnant Wife of Marine Killed in Afghanistan Mortgage-Free Home
CEO and Chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller recently spoke to Breitbart about the donation. “We’re building mortgage-free homes for Gold Star Families, and that includes any of the 13 that left behind a young family. And we do know one of them. His wife is pregnant and will be giving birth shortly.”
Siller states the organization came to be as a way of him honoring his brother. Stephen Siller was a firefighter in New York City who died on 9/11. Having a personal stake in the matter, Frank Siller is very involved with the foundation.
“I have a great relationship with so many [families of service members and first responders] and we cry together — and believe me, there’s been a lot of that going on.”
The Foundation’s Gold Star Family Home Program honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. As such, surviving spouses with young children will receive a mortgage-free home.