Kareem Nikoui (Texas Marine Who Died in Afghanistan) Biography, Wiki
Kareem Nikoui was a young Marine from California whose dad told Daily Beast he “really loved that [Marine Corps] family. He was devoted—he was going to make a career out of this, and he wanted to go. No hesitation for him to be called to duty.”
They were among the 13 U.S. Marines and service members who lost their lives in the Kabul, Afghanistan, attack on August 26, 2021. Heavy is committed to running a tribute and photo for each. You will see those tributes and pictures below, and we are adding more as they are identified.
Thursday was “an excruciating day” for California carpenter Steve Nikoui. 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.
Military officials have not released the names of the slain troops but said they included 10 Marines, two soldiers, and one Navy medic.
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 was actually trying to console them. But at the same time, I just wanted them to get out as soon as possible so that no one from my family came back and saw them. I thought it appropriate that I be able to tell them.”
“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.
Kareem “loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home-cooked meal, according to Nikoui.
“My wife and I felt very honored that [since] these other boys weren’t around their homes, that we were able to provide some sort of family life for them,” he said. “He really loved that [Marine Corps] family. He was devoted—he was going to make a career out of this, and he wanted to go. No hesitation for him to be called to duty.”
Through tears, Nikoui expressed flashes of anger 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.”
On Thursday, the president vowed to strike back at the perpetrators behind the blast.
“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” Biden said.
Maxton Soviak, a U.S. Navy corpsman from Berlin Heights, Ohio, also died in the attack Thursday, the Sandusky Registrar reported.
Soviak was a 2017 graduate of Edison High School, where he played football, according to The Telegraph, before eventually moving to Guam.
A self-described “patriot” on Instagram, Soviak’s feed often featured him enjoying the outdoors—on boats, beaches, and mountains. He was also proud of his military service, posting photos with his fellow servicemen and commenting on photos of his friends.
The Navy confirmed a sailor died in the bombing, but would not confirm Soviak’s name until 24 hours after the family was first notified.
“My beautiful, intelligent, beat-to-the-sound of his own drum, annoying, charming baby brother was killed yesterday helping to save lives,” Marilyn Soviak, his sister, wrote on Instagram. “He was a fucking medic. there to help people. and now he is gone and my family will never be the same.”
Tributes and Statements
A woman wrote on Facebook, “We lost a member of our Norco family yesterday. My friends grandson was one of the Marines killed in Kabul…Kareem Nikoui you are our hero and a hero to so many you were helping. Godspeed Marine! We thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and we will not forget you.”
Kareem Nikoui Father and Family
Kareem was a young Marine. His father Steve Nikoui told the Daily Beast that his son was helping evacuate Americans and Afghan nationals at the Kabul airport.
‘I haven’t gone to bed all night,’ Steve said. ‘I’m still in shock. I haven’t been able to grasp everything that’s going on.’
Kareem ‘loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine’, his father said.
‘He really loved that (Marine Corps) family. He was devoted – he was going to make a career out of this, and he wanted to go,’ Steve said. ‘No hesitation for him to be called to duty.’
Steve said he planned to retrieve his son’s remains in Dover, Delaware.