23 October 2013

High School to Memorialize 'Red Bull' Soldier, Alumnus

A group of Waverly-Shell Rock (Iowa) Senior High School students, assisted by social studies teachers, will celebrate the life of a citizen-soldier and 2009 alumnus in an upcoming Veterans Day ceremony, according to a news report by the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier-Journal.

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan, April 20, 2011 - U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Ketelaar (left), 
an infantryman from Waverly, Iowa, and U.S. Army Sgt. Edward Kane (right), 
a team leader from Portland, Ore., pay their final respects at the memorial stand 
of Spc. Donald Lee Nichols during an April 18, 2011 service at FOB Mehtar Lam.
Photo by U.S. Army Spc. James Wilton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs

Iowa Army National Guard Spc. Donald L. Nichols, 21, of Shell Rock was killed April 13, 2011 in Eastern Afghanistan's Laghman Province, when an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) detonated under the vehicle in which he was traveling.

Nichols was a member of headquarters company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (1-133rd Inf.), headquartered in Waterloo.

While attending Waverly-Shell Rock High School, Nichols had been on the wrestling team. He enlisted in the National Guard shortly after his 18th birthday.

According to the newspaper, the student-led assembly will take place 10:30 a.m., Nov. 11, 2013. During the ceremony, a memorial marker will be placed at the school. The event will take approximately 25 minutes.

In a 2011 memorial service for Nichols conducted in Afghanistan, battalion commander Lt. Col. Steve Kremer said: "Spc. Nichols is a true testament of being a great American with his decision to support this country, knowing that he would deploy to Afghanistan. Spc. Nichols will be remembered as a hero, a friend and a great soldier."

Nichols was one of four Iowa citizen-soldiers killed during the 2010-2011 deployment of Iowa's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division to Afghanistan.

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