A tribute to Specialist Don Nichols - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A tribute to Specialist Don Nichols

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

With the thousands of Iowa service men and women returning home with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, on Wednesday night we honor one young man who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country.

Specialist Don Nichols, 21, of Shell Rock died in Afghanistan this past April. Nichols was in a mine-resistant all-terrain vehicle when it struck an IED.

On Wednesday night in Evansdale, Specialist Nichols' family received special plaques in honor of their son's service. A banner will also hang on one of the outfield walls at Deerwood Park with Nichols' name. Don Nichols played youth softball at the park. It's a small tribute for a young man who gave so much.

Becky Poock has many fond memories of her youngest son, Donny. The last time she saw him was when he was home on leave in January. One memory she wishes she could forget is when two service men came to her house to tell her that her son had died.

"I pulled the car into the garage, got out of the car and two army guys were standing about six feet away and said, 'Are you Mrs. Poock, mother of Donald Nichols?' 'Yeah, what's going on?' 'Can we go inside, please?' 'Sure.' We go inside and I open the door and I got tears already coming because I already know what they're going to say," said Becky.

Don Nichols was serving his country when he was killed. His mom said he wanted to serve since he was just three years old, but the outcome was one she could have never predicted.

"It was something I never thought I could go through and it's something no parent should have to go through," said Becky.

Since the news of his death there has been an outpouring of support to Nichols' family.

"Thank you so much. I would have never been able to get through it without everybody's support and understanding and caring. Thank you for standing out there on that day holding the flags and waving," said Becky.

Don Nichols' family has received letters of support from all over the country. They have also received condolence letters from military leaders including the Commander In Chief, President Obama.

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