Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Nickolas S Welch

Mill City, Oregon

August 6, 2013

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
26 Army Spc

3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

Fort Stewart, Georgia

 Died Aug. 6, in Bethesda, Md., of injuries sustained July 23, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Soltan Kheyl, Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

Nickolas Welch (1987 - 2013)
SPC Nickolas 'Noodle' Welch

March 16, 1987 - August 6, 2013

Our beautiful, loving, heroic son, finished his battle here on earth and has ventured on to a new journey. Words can never describe this young man and the person he is. He is loved by so many people and missed beyond the imaginable. To anyone that had the privilege to know him, their lives are forever touched. Heaven gained, we lost, but his memories will last forever. It doesn't end here, we will all meet again one day. Nick's accomplishments in his short life are many. His loyalty to all he knew is incomparable. We love you Nicky!!! Nick attended school in Mill City, Oregon and graduated from Santiam High School in 2005. He attended College of the Siskiyou's graduating in 2009 with an Associate Degree in Business Management. He received many academic and athletic awards throughout his years of schooling. Some of these include a Certificate of Mastery, Scholar Athlete Award from both high school and college. He lettered in Football, Basketball and Track. He took great pride in wearing his #80 at both High School and College. Nick was very humble about his achievements and was a 'Silent Tough', enduring broken bones while playing to help the team and never complained. While working toward a Bachelors degree in Accounting, Nick joined the U.S. Army in 2010. He served his country well as a Forward Observer, with additional training as a Joint Forces Operator, 4th battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Regiment # 3-15, Charlie Company. Nick had reenlisted and after his deployment in Afghanistan he was looking forward to serving at Ft. Lewis, WA. His valor and sacrifice is recognized through awards of a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, and many more. ---

Welcoming Home Our Hero, Click photo below:

August 14, 2013

They Came To Honor Our Hero, Click photo below:


August 18, 2013

From The Statesman Journal statesmanjournal.com 08/07/13:

Mill City soldier dies from wounds suffered in Afghanistan
Aug. 7, 2013 Written by Anna Staver

A Mill City soldier died Tuesday in a Bethesda, Md., hospital from injuries he suffered when a suicide bomber attacked his unit in Afghanistan last month, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Spc. Nick Welch, 26, was critically injured when a suicide bomber rode up to his unit on a donkey and detonated an improvised explosive device in Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan July 23. Three members of his unit died instantly, according to the DOD.

Welch was flown to a hospital in Germany where his parents, Lorria and Barry Welch, and his brother, Zack Welch, met him before returning to the U.S.

Welch was a 2005 graduate of Santiam High School. His friends and neighbors gathered at the school’s football field to light candles and share stories about Welch’s childhood during a July 25 vigil.

His best friend, Chris Downey, told the Statesman Journal at the time that despite Welch taking shrapnel to the brain, he was hopeful about Welch’s recovery.

Welch enlisted in the U.S. Army about three years ago after he and Downey struggled to find work. Downey ended up not joining, but Welch was sent to Fort Stewart, Ga., before being deployed on his first overseas tour about six months ago. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Friends at the vigil described Welch as a funny guy who was prone to playing pranks. They also described him as a star football player and loyal friend.

From The Oregonian oregonlive.com 08/07/13:

Mill City soldier dies of injuries from bomb in Afghanistan
By The Oregonian 
on August 07, 2013 at 6:15 PM, updated August 07, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Spc. Nickolas S. Welch, 26, from Mill City died Tuesday of injuries from a bomb blast that killed three other soldiers in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense reported Wednesday.

Jonathan E. Bell, an Army spokesman, said the soldiers were all assigned to Fort Stewart, Ga. Enemy forces attacked the unit with an improvised explosive device July 23 in Soltan Kheyl, Wardak province.

The others who died were identified earlier as: First Lt. Jonam Russell, 25, of Cornville, Ariz.; Sgt. Stefan M. Smith, 24 of Glennville, Ga.; and Spc. Rob L. Nichols, 24, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Welch was the 44th military member with ties to Oregon and southwest Washington to die in Afghanistan.

Welch, a football player and 2005 graduate of Santiam Canyon High School, joined the Army in August 2010. He was on his first deployment when he was fatally injured. His awards included the Purple Heart medal.

He originally was flown to a hospital in Germany. He died at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

Welch was a fire support specialist assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

-- The Oregonian
-- The Associated Press

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