Chief Warranr Office Byran J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan. Nichols graduated from Thomas More Prep-Marian in 1998.Bryan Nichols always wanted to be a solider. His father was in the Army and fought in Vietnam, his ex-wife Jessica Nichols said. Bryan and Jessica met in sixth grade, and she said he enlisted in the military before they had graduated high school. Nichols worked his way up through the ranks, and eventually piloted a helicopter with which he’d had a boyhood fascination. “He came across the Chinook …” she recalled. “His father flew Chinooks.” During the years Bryan and Jessica were married, he did three deployments. She had their son, Braydon, who is now 10. Bryan and Jessica’s marriage ended amicably, and he remarried.
Together with Bryan’s new wife, the three helped raised Braydon. The little boy dreamed also of flying one day, alongside his father, Jessica Nichols said. The boy, instead, posted an iReport on CNN.COM on Saturday about his fallen father, in the hopes that the world would never forget him.
Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. is a 1982 graduate of Hays High School. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.
The National Guardsman had dreamed of being a pilot since his high school days in Kansas. He was a chief warrant officer at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. “He was flying our nation’s elite forces into combat and, as an aviator, for him that is what he wanted to do,” Col. Chris Petty, a fellow pilot and Carter’s friend, said. Carter’s family friend Yolanda Levesque spoke at a news conference in Centennial, Colorado, on a hilltop selected because its view of the surrounding hills was one of Carter’s favorites, “He was an outstanding husband and father, son, brother and soldier,” Levesque said. “He was a friend to all who met him ... quick with a smile and always with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes.”