Brother of Marine Kareem Nikoui kills himself at memorial

A grieving brother of one of the Marines who was blown up by a suicide bomber during last year’s chaotic disengagement from Afghanistan has killed himself next to a public memorial to his younger sibling, his mother has revealed.

Dakota Halverson, 28, died by suicide in California just days before the anniversary of the attack that killed his brother, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, and a dozen other US troops at Kabul airport as frightened Afghans tried to flee the Taliban.

Leading up to his death, Dakota had been “talking a lot lately about how much he wants to be with Kareem, how much he misses him,” the man’s mother, Shana Chappell, told friends.

“This morning my son Dakota went to see his brother Kareem,” she wrote last Tuesday.

In a follow-up post, the grieving mother blamed the “ripple effect” of the deadly US withdrawal for her recent loss, which she previously blamed on President “Biden’s negligence, ignorance and traitorous role.”

Dakota Halverson, Shana Chappell, Lance Cpl.  Kareem Nikoui
Shana Chappell said her son Dakota Halverson, 28, killed himself just before his brother Lance Cpl’s anniversary. Kareem Nikoui is blown up in Afghanistan.
Facebook / Shana Chappell
Shana Chappell's heartbreaking Facebook post.
Shana Chappell described her second defeat in a harrowing post, which she attributed to the “ripple effect” of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Before his death last week, “Dakota had expressed some of the things that had been troubling him and one of those things was the loss of his brother Kareem and how he just wanted to be with him again,” her mother wrote.

“He still had a hard time believing he was actually gone.

“He snuck into the graveyard at night and slept on Kareem’s resting place. He took his own life across from a permanent memorial we have in town for his brother Kareem,” she wrote.

Shana Chappell and her second late son, Dakota Halverson.
Dakota Halverson “had trouble believing” that his brother was “actually gone” and “just wanted to be back with him,” her mother said.
Facebook / Shana Chappell
Family of Lance Cpl.  Kareem Nikoui at his grave.
Before his death, Dakota Halverson “snuck into the cemetery at night and slept at Kareem’s resting place,” said the mother, who was previously pictured with other family members at the grave of her Marine’s son.
Facebook / Shana Chappell
Headstone for Lance Cpl.  Kareem Nikoui.
An online fundraiser has raised more than $37,500 to help Shana Chappell bury son Dakota Halverson next to his brother Lance Cpl’s grave. Kareem Nikoui.
Facebook / Shana Chappell

The mother appeared to be referring to a memorial garden in Norco dedicated to “Fallen 13” that was unveiled earlier this year. However, he also has a memorial stone in the cemetery where he is buried, and last month the city’s post office was renamed the Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui Memorial Post Office in his honor.

“I’m not going to turn this into a political post, but that’s the knock-on effect!” wrote the mother, who previously said she was censored online for criticizing Biden.

“Now my children have lost another brother. My family has lost another loving family member and Dakota’s friends have lost a true friend!

Late Naval Lance Cpl.  Kareem Nikoui with his mother Shana Chappell.
Shana Chappell previously blamed President “Biden’s negligence, ignorance and him as a traitor” for the death of her Marine son, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui.
Late Naval Lance Cpl.  Kareem Nikoui.
Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui was one of 13 US soldiers killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport almost a year ago.

“I’m still in shock about this and honestly when the shock wears off I don’t know how I’m going to get through this,” she wrote, adding suicide awareness hashtags.

“My CoCo and my Kareemy love you both so much!” she wrote.

In an online fundraiser, Chappell said again, “Losing his brother nearly a year ago has proved too hard for Dakota to bear.

As of Monday morning, well-wishers had donated more than $37,500 to have him buried next to his brother.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside of the five counties, you can call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to Brother of Marine Kareem Nikoui kills himself at memorial


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