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Tipsheet

'The Ripple Effect': Gold Star Mother Speaks Out One Year After Her Son Was Killed in Kabul

NORCO, Calif. — It's been nearly one year since Shana Chappell received the news every military family fears the most: Her son, Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, had been killed in the ISIS-K attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport's Abbey Gate during President Joe Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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Nikoui was among the 13 U.S. service members and more than one hundred Afghans who were killed in the attack on August 26, 2021. Shana spoke with Townhall this month at the spot where her son was laid to rest in their hometown of Norco. She talked about Nikoui's lifelong desire to join the Marine Corps, what happened in the days leading up to August 26, what has happened to her family since that devastating day, what she thinks the Biden administration should have done differently, and what Joe Biden said when she met him during the dignified transfer at Delaware's Dover Air Force base.

Tragically, one of Shana's other sons, Dakota Halverson, took his own life two days prior to her interview with Townhall. Still, Shana moved forward with the interview because she wanted people to know that what President Biden oversaw and caused in Afghanistan is still devastating one year later.

"The ripple effect! I lost two sons in less than one year, both of them in the month of August! My son Dakota was an amazing son. Like all of my kids, he had a heart of Gold. He hit some rough patches in his life and his life wasn’t always easy but he managed to pull through and was slowly getting his life back on track," Shana said in an Instagram post about Halverson's death. " I was so wrapped up in my own grief that I couldn’t see all the signs that were there! I’m not gonna make this a political post but this is the ripple effect! Now my kids have lost another brother."

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Watch Townhall's full interview with Shana above. 

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