Nikoui said he and his family were devastated by the news of his son’s death, but that his wife, particularly, was “doing the best that she can considering the circumstances.”
Their entire family, Nikoui said, was worried about the situation in Afghanistan during the final days of the United States’ presence in the country.
“The way that the Taliban had pretty much infiltrated the whole country so fast, and we were kind of just, it seemed, left to just this one little airport, really concerned me,” he said. “And the videos that we were getting and the pictures we were getting from him looked somewhat chaotic.”
Videos and photos of his son interacting with local Afghans, though, put the family at ease about the situation.
Nikoui told host Tucker Carlson the troop withdrawal would have been much different if the U.S. evacuation had come from Bagram Air Base, calling the situation at the airport a “turkey shoot,” “chaotic,” and “not really planned out.”
The morning of the attack, Nikoui and his wife both woke up with an uneasy feeling and began to monitor the news for the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, trying to glean any details they could about their son.
That evening, Nikoui was monitoring the cameras on his driveway, and as soon as he saw three men in Marine uniforms turn the corner, his “life changed forever.”
“I went down there and met them before they even knocked on the door,” Nikoui said.
Despite the devastating circumstances, Nikoui said the support he received from the Marines was “incredible.”
“These young men had so much empathy and were so concerned with me and my family,” he said. “I was just in awe and humbled by their performance.”
Lance Cpl. Nikoui was among 13 service members killed in a suicide bomb attack outside the Abbey Gabe at Kabul airport in Afghanistan, the deadliest day for U.S. troops in 10 years.