|Spc. Brent Maher|
In Eastern Iowa, a community banded together to help the families of the two fallen soldiers. Folks who've never met either soldier are stepping in to help. From a KGAN-TV report came this information. "Volunteers covered a table inside Regina High School in Iowa City with baked goods Friday night. Imagine if every muffin, every cookie on that table were a toothbrush, or a sock. That's basically what the group Iowa Troop Pantry does. Volunteers raise money for basic supplies to send to troops overseas. But Friday night's fundraiser was even more important because all the money went to the families of two fallen heroes: Specialists Maher and Nichols.
|Spc. Don Nichols|
"Those guys are our family, our family's hurting," says Mike Tyson, one of the directors of Iowa Troop Pantry. Two Iowa soldiers killed in one week. Both leave behind families, children, wives, struggling to cope and a community unsure of how to help". One community did, though. Now we need others to follow their lead.
Encouragement is also coming within the ranks of other deployed families. I'd like to share with you a couple of comments listed on the MFV blog concerning Spc. Nichols.
The first is from Tonya Rosol...."My son, Lt. Justin Foote was on foot near the vehicle when the IED was detonated. He is the platoon leader for this scouts/sniper platoon. We are grieving the loss of Donny and praying for the gunners recovery. My son escorted Donny's body back to Bagram along with the injured gunner where he will wait for Donny's brother who is in another part of Afghanistan to arrive to take Donny home to his family. God Speed to the brave men and women. Life is so fleeting".
And from Mark Johnson...."My son, Spc. Jacob Johnson was 2 trucks behind Don's. Jake went through Basic & AIT at Ft. Benning with Don, drills, NTC and the same squad in Afghanistan. We talked to Jake shortly after the incident and he said he carried Donny to the chopper. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and Chelsey. I cannot imagine what they are going through and how their lives have changed forever. God bless them and God rest Donny at peace in Heaven".
And lastly from the parents of Spc. Nichols fiance, Marvin and DeAnn Bliss......."As Chelsey's parents we'd like to extend our thanks to all the 133rd families and friends that have reached out to Chelsey. She is a strong woman with a strong family and friend base. We will make it! Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family members of the 133rd and their soldiers on their SAFE RETURN HOME".
I want to thank Tonya, Mark, Marvin and DeAnn. It had to have been difficult sharing thoughts so soon after this tragic time. It will be people like these four that help get us through this. They are part of the "family". Perhaps now, it's more even understandable. Family is the most important thing in the world and there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.