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Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie S. Nicholas

Died September 29, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

32, of Maysel, W.Va.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Sept. 29 in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during mounted operations. Also killed were Capt. Richard J. Cliff and Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez.

W.Va. lowers flags to honor fallen soldier

The Associated Press

CLAY, W.Va. — Gov. Joe Manchin has ordered all U.S. and West Virginia flags lowered to half-staff to honor a Clay County soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Nicholas and two other soldiers died Sept. 29 when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Yakhchal. Nicholas was a 33-year-old resident of Maysel.

The governor’s order coincides with Nicholas’ funeral, set for Wednesday at Clay County High School.

The Department of Defense identified the other soldiers as 29-year-old Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr. from Mount Pleasant, S.C., and 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez from Round Lake, Ill.

The men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie S. Nicholas remembered

The Associated Press

The signs in Jamie S. Nicholas’ hometown of Clay County, W.Va., said it all.

“In Our Prayers, the Nicholas Family, God Bless America,” said one at Maysel Missionary Baptist Church. “Jamie Nicholas, Our Fallen Hero,” read another at Go Mart.

Nicholas, 32, of Hope Mills, N.C., died Sept. 29 in an explosion in Yakhchal, Afghanistan. He was a 1994 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Nicholas, a senior weapons sergeant, had been in Afghanistan since May. It was his second deployment to the country.

“Jamie died doing what he wanted to do. He wasn’t concerned about going over there this time, but I had asked him if he felt we should be there,” said his mother, Karen Nicholas.

“He was adamant,” she said. “He said if we are not there, they will be in America. That gives me comfort. We support America.”

Nicholas was the second of six children in his family. And he was not the only one to serve in the military. Another son served for 10 years, also stationed at Fort Bragg. His sister-in-law also serves.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle; his stepson, Brenton Troup, and his stepdaughter, Sharise Troup.

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