Sunday, August 26, 2007

Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes

Remember Our Heroes

Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes, 25, of Dayton, Ky.

SSgt. Carnes died Aug. 26, 2007 in Orgun-e, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire in Lewanne Bazaar, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard, Carrollton, Ky.

Guardsman killed in action
BB Riverboat captain had been married less than a year, to another captain

DAYTON - Two American flags fly from the Carnes home on Fourth Avenue. In the windows, signs and yellow ribbons ask to Pray for Our Troops and Bring Them Home.

Monday, about a dozen grieving family members and friends sat on the front porch, mourning one of their own - 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes of the Kentucky National Guard.

Wray Jean Carnes talked about her son, who was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend when his unit engaged the enemy in a firefight.

"They were on maneuvers, looking for (improvised explosive devices)," she said. "Then the enemy fired on his squad."

Sunday, she received a late-night phone call telling her Nicholas had been killed.

Carnes was part of the Guard's 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based in Carrolton.

He graduated from Dayton High School in 2000, where he played football.

He entered the Army National Guard at 17 and went to work at BB Riverboats, where he became a captain before leaving on his guard deployment in October 2006.

His wife, Terri Bernstein-Carnes, is herself a captain and a member of the Bernstein family, owners of BB Riverboats. Sept. 19 would have been their first wedding anniversary.

This was Carnes' first deployment, his mother said.

"He was the most kind, gentle, loving young man," his mother said. "There wasn't anyone he ever met who didn't love him. He never grumbled. He was always there to lend a helping hand. He was a giving young man."

But his mission had more importance.

"He wanted to protect his family," she said of his desire to serve. "He wanted us all to be free."

"We're not only going through a personal loss, we're also going through a professional loss," said his father-in-law, Alan Bernstein said. "(Nicholas) really thought he was doing the right thing, serving his country. He thought that if he lost his life, it was in the name of freedom. He knew the danger, and still he was overly-enthusiastic about going. We lost a great kid."

Bernstein said Carnes was destined for great things.

"But he was short-cutted," he said. "He was a natural leader, never in a bad mood.

"I don't know what there is to say to my daughter. She's a strong girl, like he was a strong man. We're getting a lot of support from the community already, even people we don't know."

Carnes will have a military funeral, but arrangements are pending, the family said.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes was killed in action on 8/26/07.

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