Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Army Spc. Robert E. Dyas

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Robert E. Dyas, 21, of Nampa, Idaho

Spc Dyas was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Sept. 21, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

NAMPA — The parents of U.S. Army Spc. Robert E. Dyas announced Thursday that their son was killed in combat in Afghanistan.

The military had not confirmed the death, but Melissa and Jerry Nowland held a press conference in their Nampa front yard to notify the public. Other family members cried as they stood behind the couple in front of their modest home with a U.S. flag at half mast and a makeshift memorial with pictures of Dyas.

According to his family, Dyas died Wednesday from wounds in the abdomen received during a small arms fire fight in the Kandahar Province.

Melissa Nowland called Dyas, 21, a “true hero” who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

“He is a son, he is a friend and he is a brother,” she said, “and he is going to be so missed, so missed.”

Dyas was a fire support specialist in the 34th Regiment, 1st Brigade, out of Fort Riley, Kansas. Melissa said Dyas’s civilian job was eliminated before he enlisted.

“He didn’t want to just sit around and wait and look for jobs,” she said. “He thought he wanted the security of the military.”

Dyas planned to go back to school and learn a trade when he got out of the military, Jerry Nowland said. He liked to bird hunt with his stepfather and said considered hunting his lifetime training. Jerry said what Dyas learned hunting helped him in Afghanistan.

Dyas had recently purchased a 1966 Pontiac LeMans, like the one his step father owns, on eBay. He told Jerry that the two could cruise together in their classic cars.

“That car’s going to be so special to us,” Jerry said.

Jerry also expressed his opinion that the soldiers still in Afghanistan should come home.

“We need to bring them home,” he said. “Nobody needs to feel this kind of pain.”

Melissa planned to travel to Dover, Del., Thursday for the return of Dyas’s remains.

Family members said they plan to set up foundation representing Dyas.

Army Spc. Robert E. Dyas was killed in action on 9/21/11.

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