Gold Star Dad Steven Nikoui Receives ‘Hero’s Welcome’ at Pub After Heckling Biden at State of the Union—as GOP Urges Police to Drop Charges

Credits: Times of San Diego

Gold Star father, Steven Nikoui, received a warm welcome at a Washington, DC, pub after being arrested for interrupting President Biden during Thursday night’s State of the Union address over the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

Fellow Gold Star families who attended the speech cheered as Nikoui entered the Dubliner Restaurant, blocks away from the US Capitol, following his release from the custody of the House Sergeant at Arms.

According to Gold Star’s father, Darin Hoover, Nikoui had to pay $50 to get bailed out of the Capitol Police station and is facing a fine of $500 or 90 days in jail, or both, in an upcoming court date.

Steven Nikoui (Credits: NewsNation)

Nikoui, a Christian man, had his Bible with him when he was arrested, indicating that the incident had been weighing on his mind for a while.

He had been seeking answers for over two and a half years regarding the death of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, who was killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021.

House Republicans who invited relatives of fallen troops called on local authorities to drop the charges against Nikoui. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) even offered to pay any related fines.

During the State of the Union address, Nikoui shouted, “Abbey Gate!” referring to the place of his son’s death at the airport, and called out his son’s name and regiment.

Capitol Police immediately arrested him for crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, a misdemeanor that typically results in the offender’s release after paying a $50 fine.

Nikoui’s outburst was seen as a form of protest against what he perceives as Biden’s incompetence in handling the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Nikoui’s arrest sparked a wave of support from other Gold Star families, who embraced him upon his arrival at the pub. Mark Schmitz, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz even returned Nikoui’s Bible to him, saying, “Jesus would like to talk to you, sir.”

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who invited Nikoui to the speech, later secured his release after the father was arrested for interrupting the president during his address to Congress.

Mast expressed his support for Nikoui, stating that the arrest was unjust given the sacrifices Nikoui and his family have made for the country.

The incident highlighted the ongoing controversy surrounding the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left many US citizens behind and resulted in the Taliban seizing $7 billion worth of US military equipment.

Since the withdrawal, President Biden’s approval rating has remained low, and many have criticized his administration’s handling of the situation.

Despite the criticism, Biden has yet to accept responsibility for the disaster, according to reports fully. Gold Star families like Nikoui’s continue to seek answers and accountability from the administration, hoping to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families in the future.

Steven Nikoui’s arrest and subsequent support from fellow Gold Star families underscore the deep emotional and political impact of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The incident has reignited debate over the withdrawal handling and the broader implications for US foreign policy.