Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Army Spc. Donald L. Nichols

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Donald L. Nichols, 21, of Shell Rock, Iowa

Spc Nichols was assigned to 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Iowa Army National Guard, Waterloo, Iowa; died April 13, 2011 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Nichols was killed during a mounted patrol when the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle (MATV), in which he was an occupant, was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device.

Spc. Nichols graduated from Waverly High School in 2009. Prior to his mobilization, he worked at the Walmart store in Waverly, Iowa.

Spc. Nichols enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in March 2008. Following graduation from Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, he was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry as an Infantryman. He deployed to Afghanistan November 2010.

Spc. Nichols was “happy and talking about coming home soon,” according to Chelsey Bliss, who had been Nichols’ girlfriend since their freshman year in high school.

Bliss said she had just spoken with Nichols via telephone the night before. Nichols told her he’d had a quiet day and was “fine but bored,” Bliss said.

Bliss said her boyfriend joined the Army during his junior year at Waverly Shell Rock High School, where they both graduated in 2009.

“He could have gotten straight A’s if he’d concentrated as much on school as he did on preparing for military service", she said.

“He was proud to go over there, proud to be with his guys,” Bliss said.

Bliss said Nichols’ parents informed her of their son’s death Wednesday.

The family of Spc. Donald L. Nichols issued the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our beloved son, brother and friend during combat in Afghanistan. Don died doing what he loved, serving his country and protecting the freedom that we enjoy and providing the people of Afghanistan with the opportunity for freedom.

We are proud of Don’s accomplishments and those of his fellow Iowa National Guard Soldiers and all of the military serving our country. Don was making a difference in the lives of the Afghan people, and was proud of it. As shocked as we are by his death, we are deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support shown by his fellow Soldiers, his family, friends and the community during this difficult time.

We are sure that you can understand and will honor our request for family privacy at this time, as we are focused on working with military officials to return Don’s body home for military services and burial. We thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kindness at this extremely difficult time. We are deeply saddened by our loss, but extremely proud of the honorable way he served America as a leader in the U.S. Army. We will remember him, his sense of humor, his “snarky” attitude, and his love for his family, friends and his country, with great pride.”

Nichols is survived by his mother and step-father, Roger and Becky Poock, of Waterloo; his father and mother, Jeff and Jeanie Nichols, of Shell Rock, Iowa; his fiancé, Chelsey Bliss, of Waverly, Iowa; brothers Joe Nichols, stationed in Afghanistan, and Nick Nichols.

Army Spc. Donald L. Nichols was killed in action on 4/13/11.

1 comment:

Becky S. Poock Mother of SPC Don Nichols said...

Thank you so much for the story about my son SPC Don Nichols. It is a very touching piece.

Becky S. Poock
Waterloo, Iowa