Thursday, July 7, 2011


Losing a child has to be an experience no parent wants to go through.  In War, it happens nearly each and every day.  And when it does happen, it leaves parents to "pick up the pieces".   On June 29th, Roger and Chris Nielson of Jefferson received news regarding their son, Capt. Matthew Nielson, who was killed during an insurgent attack while serving in Iraq.  A statement from the Department of Defense says Capt. Nielson, 27, died during an “indirect fire attack” by insurgents.  Capt. Nielson was serving in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn,

Days later at a  press conference in Jefferson,  his family reflected on Capt. Nielson's life and the mind-set they had in dealing with their loss.   "Words just can hardly describe the feelings that parents and sisters and brothers have when you’re out there with the other soldiers",  Roger Nielson said, " the ceremony, deplaning, carrying him across the tarmac, that sense of bringing him home, as a Dad, that answered a lot of questions, because they brought my kid home.”

Remains of Capt. Matthew Nielson arrive at Dover Air Force Base on July 2nd

Two other soldiers died in the attack.  They are Capt. David Van Camp of Wheeling, West Virginia and Spc. Robert Tenney Jr. of Warner Robins, Georgia.  All three men were assigned to the U.S. Army's 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas.  Capt. Nielson was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska; Ogden, Iowa and Jefferson, Iowa.  He was commissioned in May 2008 as an armor officer and had been assigned to his unit since November,  Nielson graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, where he was in the Army ROTC.  Capt. Nielson was the oldest of eight children. 

 His family issued this statement through the Dept. of Defense:

“Since Matt was a small boy he loved anything military, so he died doing what he loved best.  Serving others was of the utmost importance to him and how he wanted to spend his life.  He always gave his all, whatever he was doing.  Matthew was a beloved son, brother, friend and Soldier. He’s already home, and we know we’ll be together again someday."

"Apart, but forever in our hearts".- Psalms 11

The funeral for Capt. Matthew Nielson will be held this coming Sunday, July 10th at the Greene County Community Center in Jefferson beginning at noon.  Burial will take place at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter at 4 p.m.

Rest in Peace, Captain Matthew Nielson.



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