WSR High School recognizes fallen soldier with memorial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

WSR High School recognizes fallen soldier with memorial

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

 Monday family, friends and the whole Waverly Shell-Rock High School spent time remembering the man who gave his life for this country.

Donald L. Nichols, or as his family and friends called him "Donny," was killed while serving in Afghanistan on April 13th, 2011. Nichols served with the 1st battalion, 133rd infantry regiment of the Iowa National Guard.

On Veterans Day, the 2009 WSR alum got a stone memorial placed in front of the high school honoring his sacrifice.

"He's an American soldier and all soldiers deserve this respect. They sacrificed their lives. They go overseas not knowing if they are coming home or not," said Jeanie Nichols, step-mother.

"I think they should have one of these in front of every high school in America. So that all the kids know exactly what our soldiers are doing over there for them," Jeff Nichols, father.

In Afghanistan, Nichols platoon leader was Commander Justin Foote.

Foote says Nichols was a good soldier, never backing down from any mission even on April 13th, 2011. On that fateful day Nichols was driving an armored truck that was hit by an improvised explosive device.

"My kids continue to remind me as they look at the artwork inked in my leg in memory of Donny and ask me did the bad guys get Donny? There are days I just don't know what to say. They ask me if I got the bad guys. I'd like to say the work that my platoon did and the work that our battalion did throughout our deployment in Afghanistan was enough to tell my young children that yes, yes we got the bad guys," said Foote. 

Foote made the trip to Waverly for Nichols, but also to remind students of the sacrifice some have made for this country.

"I hope that it can be a reminder to each and everyone, young and old, that there are people out there fighting for our freedom," said Foote.

Unfortunately Nichols' mother, Becky Poock, wasn't at the ceremony Monday.

Poock is recovering after she suffered a brain aneurysm in October while on vacation in Branson, Missouri.

Her friends tell say she is in ICU at a rehab facility in Springfield, Missouri.

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