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Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes

Died August 26, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Dayton, Ky.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard, Carrollton, Ky.; died Aug. 26 in Orgun-e, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire in Lewanne Bazaar, Afghanistan.

Kentucky guardsman killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

DAYTON, Ky. ? A Kentucky National Guardsman from northern Kentucky was killed in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit, the military said Aug. 27.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas R. Carnes, 25, of Ludlow, Ky., died Aug. 26 in Orgun-e, Afghanistan, of wounds from small-arms fire in Lewanne Bazaar, Paktika province, the military said.

Carnes was assigned to the Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based in Carrollton. He deployed in March, the Kentucky Guard said.

He had been a member of the Guard since 1999. He is the second Kentucky guardsman killed in Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife, Teresa Bernstein; and his parents, Wray Carnes of Dayton, Ky., and Gove Carnes of Williamstown, Ky.

?Nicholas Carnes was a fine soldier and will be deeply missed by his family, his fellow soldiers and everyone who knew him,? Maj. Gen. Donald Storm, adjutant general for Kentucky, said in a statement. Storm was on his way to Afghanistan on a previously scheduled trip to visit Kentucky troops.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher ordered flags at state office building flown at half-staff in Carnes honor.

Funeral arrangement were incomplete Aug. 27.

Family remembers Kentucky guardsman killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

DAYTON, Ky. ? Family members and friends are mourning the death of a 25-year-old Kentucky National Guard soldier who was killed in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit.

Wray Jean Carnes said she received a late-night phone call Aug. 26 informing her that her son, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes, had been killed over the weekend.

?They were on maneuvers, looking for [improvised explosive devices],? she said Aug. 27. ?Then the enemy fired on his squad.?

The military said Carnes died Aug. 26 of wounds from small-arms fire. He is the second Kentucky guardsman killed in Afghanistan.

Carnes, who was from northern Kentucky, was part of the Guard?s 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based in Carrollton. He graduated from Dayton High School in 2000, where he played football.

He entered the Army National Guard at 17 and went to work at BB Riverboats, where he became a captain before leaving on his Guard deployment in October 2006.

His wife, Terri Bernstein-Carnes, is also a captain and a member of the family that owns BB Riverboats. Their first wedding anniversary would have been Sept. 19.

This was Carnes? first deployment, his mother said.

?He was the most kind, gentle, loving young man,? she said. ?There wasn?t anyone he ever met who didn?t love him. He never grumbled. He was always there to lend a helping hand. He was a giving young man.?

His father-in-law, Alan Bernstein, said Carnes ?really thought he was doing the right thing, serving his country. He thought that if he lost his life, it was in the name of freedom. He knew the danger, and still he was overly enthusiastic about going. We lost a great kid.?

Carnes will have a military funeral, but arrangements are pending, the family said.

Soldier killed in Afghanistan remembered for his strong faith

The Associated Press

COVINGTON, Ky. ? A Kentucky National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan was remembered Sept. 4 for his strong faith as his family and friends gathered for his funeral.

Hundreds of mourners filed into the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in this northern Kentucky city for the funeral of Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carnes, 25, of Ludlow.

Carnes, a member of the National Guard since 1999, died Aug. 26 during a firefight near the village of Lewanne Bazaar in Afghanistan. Carnes was assigned to Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based in Carrollton.

The cathedral was standing-room-only during the hourlong ceremony in which Carnes? friends paid tribute to his life and service to his country, The Kentucky Enquirer reported on its Web site.

The Rev. Lowell Bowling, who knew Carnes as a child, said that even as a boy, Carnes was generous and had a strong faith in God.

?He had been raised with love and he knew he was loved,? Bowling said. ?But he was also raised with discipline and that discipline helped mold him into the fine young man that he became.

?As Nick lay there on the battlefield, I know the angels of God were standing there beside him waiting to carry that soul into heaven.?

After the service, Carnes was buried in Alexandria Cemetery with full military honors. Three Black Hawk helicopters flew overhead, a three-volley salute was fired and bagpipes played ?God Bless America.?

Carnes was deployed overseas in October, his first tour of duty since joining the National Guard.

?I remember Staff Sergeant Carnes as Pfc. Carnes ? a chubby-cheeked little 19-year-old that had a can-do attitude that was unbelievable,? said Maj. Walter Leaumont, who was Carnes? battery commander after he finished training six years ago. ?He was a joy to work with. He didn?t know the word ?no.? He made almost a meteoric rise through the ranks because was that good ? hardworking, dedicated, and he had that natural-born instinct where he was a leader, and people just naturally followed.

?It?s just a tragic, tragic loss that we?ve suffered, in both the military and his family,? Leaumont said.

Leaumont read a letter that Carnes wrote to his wife, Terri Bernstein-Carnes, in November.

?If the other soldiers who came before me did not stand up for freedom, then we would not have freedom,? Carnes wrote his wife. ?So I feel that I am obligated to stand as well for freedom, to ensure that everyone that follows me enjoys the same freedoms that we do today. I?m not going to Afghanistan to kill Afghans. I?m going there to help them stand up against the Taliban, to regain control of their own country.?

Carnes was the first of two Kentucky guardsmen killed in action within a week.

Staff Sgt. Delmar White, 37, of Lexington died Sept. 2 when a roadside bomb exploded while he and other soldiers were escorting a convoy in Iraq. Three other soldiers were injured.

White, who deployed less than a month ago, was assigned to Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, based in Carlisle.

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