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

Nathan W Nakis

Corvallis, Oregon

December 16, 2003

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
19 Army Spc

Company B, 52nd Engineer Battalion (Heavy), Army National Guard

Albany, Oregon

Mosul, Iraq.   Nakis was in a convoy returning to Mosul when he lost control of his vehicle after driving through an oil-soaked area.

  

AP News

When Nathan Nakis' mother nominated her son as soldier of the week for his unit in August, she wrote he "has always loved three things: playing in the dirt, being outdoors and acting like a soldier."

"So we were not surprised when he decided to join the Army National Guard as a combat engineer to help support his college education," she wrote of the freshman at Oregon State University.

Nakis, of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., died Dec. 15 when he swerved the five-ton truck he was driving to avoid what he thought was an explosive on a road near Mosul, Iraq. The truck hit an oil slick, rolled off the road and flipped.

Nakis was the first member of the Oregon National Guard to die on duty in Iraq.

Bravo Company, 52nd Engineers Battalion had been in Iraq since April. One of its tasks had been to build an orphanage.

A military photo shows Nakis entertaining laughing Iraqi children as he tried to ride a donkey.

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