- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Pfc. Nicholas E. Riehl
Died April 27, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Shiocton, Wis.; assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died April 27 in Fallujah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during combat patrol.
Shiocton soldier killed in Iraq
By John Hartzell
The Associated Press
MILWAUKEE — A former coach described the 21-year-old soldier from Shiocton killed in Iraq as an unselfish person who was good at everything he tried.
“I’m not surprised he went to serve his country. It doesn’t surprise me he would do something so noble,” Chad Schmidt, who coached Nicholas E. Riehl in basketball and golf at Shiocton High School, said April 30.
The Army private first class died April 27 in Fallujah from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit during a combat patrol, the U.S. Department of Defense said.
“He’s a guy that I would want to go to war with,” Schmidt said. “He’s one of those guys that you would want on your side.”
The coach said he got to know Riehl when he took a basketball camp in seventh grade. He later coached him for three years in basketball and two years in golf.
“He was very talented at everything,” Schmidt said. “Besides sports, he was good at music and art, and a high performer in math. Whatever he wanted to do, he would do well.”
Riehl was named co-MVP of the Shiocton basketball team that won the Central Wisconsin Conference his senior season, even though he averaged only nine points per game.
“He was a leader,” Schmidt said. “He did whatever it took to win. He didn’t make mistakes.”
Riehl played also football at Shiocton High and was particularly fond of playing guitar with some of his friends, Principal Kelly Zeinert said.
He joined the Army in November of 2005, arrived at Fort Stewart, Ga., in April 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in January, serving as a cavalry scout, said Kevin Larson, a civilian spokesman at the fort.
Riehl was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Stewart, Ga.
“He’s going to be missed,” Schmidt said. “Big time.”
Fallen soldier’s song sounds prophetic at emotional funeral
The Associated Press
SHIOCTON, Wis. — Months before Army Pfc. Nicholas E. Riehl died in Iraq, he wrote and recorded a song called “Standing at the Black Gate.”
At his funeral May 5, more than 900 mourners heard his voice one more time as he sang, “They stole my life now. I’ve lost what’s real.”
The prophetic song seemed to tell the story of his death, said his brother, Evan Riehl.
“I figured the people would want to hear Nic’s words,” he said.
With Nic Riehl’s flag-draped coffin directly under a green-trimmed basketball hoop where he led Shiocton High School to the 2004 Central Wisconsin Conference championship, family members offered tear-filled tributes to the fallen soldier.
His sister Roselynn Riehl said she’ll miss Nic’s playful punches to her arm and his lifelong support and guidance.
Riehl, 21, and two other soldiers were killed April 27 in Fallujah, Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near them.