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Army Sgt. Andrew C. Nicol

Died August 8, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Kensington, N.H..; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died Aug. 8 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Bradley D. Rappuhn.

Afghan IED kills 2 Benning-based Rangers

By Christine Rook

Lansing (Mich.) State Journal

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — Two Army Rangers died Aug. 8 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when their unit encountered an improvised explosive device, Defense Department officials said Aug. 9.

Spc. Bradley D. Rappuhn, 24, of Grand Ledge and Sgt. Andrew C. Nicol, 23, of Kensington, N.H., were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, out of Fort Benning, Ga., according to the Pentagon.

Nicol was a 2006 graduate of Exeter (N.H.) High School, his family said. Family members told television station WMUR-TV that he had served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rappuhn, a 2004 graduate of Grand Ledge High School, was remembered by his high school bowling coach, Tom Braun, as a “team player.”

Rappuhn’s family traveled to Dover Air Force Base, Del., early Aug. 9. His body was scheduled to arrive at Dover about 11 p.m.

Rappuhn’s tour was extended, according to family members.

“He was supposed to come home in the end of July,” said his mother, Roxanne Rappuhn. “But they tacked 45 more days on.”

Rappuhn was injured earlier this year but had recovered, family members said.

Roxanne Rappuhn said she felt immense pride, knowing that her youngest son had served his country well.

Rappuhn enlisted in the Army in January 2009. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Cary, and a brother.

Nicol and Rappuhn “were involved in fighting one of the most heavily defended areas in Afghanistan. Their actions resulted in the destruction of a complex bunker system that included heavy machine guns, mortar systems and the death of seven Taliban,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment. “They are heroes to the nation, the Army and their families.”


Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Ranger remembered at funeral Mass

The Associated Press

BOSCAWEN, N.H. — An Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan was remembered at his Aug. 18 funeral as a dedicated soldier.

Sgt. Andrew Nicol, 23, of Kensington died Aug. 8 after being wounded by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province. Nicol served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned a Medal of Valor in 2008. He also was awarded two Bronze stars.

Nicol’s funeral was held at Holy Family Parish in Amesbury, Mass. He was buried at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

Gov. John Lynch directed that flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff to honor Nicol.

Army Sgt. Andrew C. Nicol

The Associated Press

Andrew Nicol was the captain of Exeter High School’s wrestling team in Kensington, N.H. His coach, Bob Brown, remembers Nicol as a self-assured leader who often imitated Kramer from “Seinfeld” to lighten the team’s mood.

He also was someone who was never intimidated and would often make last-minute comebacks with only seconds to spare.

“He was equally as confident in what he was doing (in Afghanistan) as he was on the mat with me,” Brown said. “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.”

Nicol also was active in the Boy Scouts and competed in motocross.

He joined the Army after graduation in 2006 and became an Army Ranger assigned to Fort Benning. In 2009, Nicol and his unit earned the Bronze Star for conducting a raid on insurgents in Iraq that killed six — including the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Nicol was on his fifth overseas deployment, leading a team of Rangers on a tactical mission near Kandahar, Afghanistan, when a bomb detonated and killed him on Aug. 8 — just weeks before he was expected to return home.

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