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Kyle Nolen remembered

Widow grieves but is proud of husband’s heroism
Today marks a year since U.S. Navy Corpsman Kyle Anthony Nolen of Ennis lost his life in a land mine assault in Iraq’s Anbar province.
But his wife still holds his memory close.
“So much has changed but so much has stayed the same,” said Cassi Nolen, mother of Kyle’s son Ryan, now 4, and Railey, 17 months. “Trips to the cemetery are a daily occurrence. But it still doesn’t seem real. It is like we are waiting for the truth to come out.”
One truth is certain to the widow the serviceman left behind. He was a hero.
And the community that helped bid him farewell knows that, too. Even people far from Ennis learned the news of the death in action of the 21-year-old Navy medic from the Bluebonnet City who had been deployed only the previous summer.
Nolen’s death just before Christmas was reported by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and his Jan. 2 funeral drew coverage from Dallas/Fort Worth affiliates of broadcast news agencies Fox, NBC and CBS.
“It is a tragedy for the Nolen family but also an honor that Kyle gave his life in defense of freedom,” said Congressman Joe Barton in the eulogy he delivered at the Navy hospitalman’s funeral in Ennis.
Interviewed by national media at that time, Nolen’s widow and other relatives of the late soldier agreed that while they were initially against his desire to join the military, they accepted his decision to enlist in the Navy.
“I am proud of him, and I supported him,” Cassie Nolen said of her late husband to the Associated Press. “But I would have chosen something different.”
Today Cassi is trying to pick up the pieces of her life, shattered from the moment she was notified of her husband’s death. Ironically, that word came on the same day she received a bouquet of flowers he had wired.
“The pain hasn’t gotten any better,” Cassi said. “I think we are just learning to live with it. We are so lucky to have known and loved a true American hero.”
Kyle’s dedication to his country is the legacy she hopes to impart to their young children.
“These babies will know that freedom isn’t free and their daddy paid the ultimate price,” Cassi said, adding that she hopes her late husband would be proud of their kids and the life they’re leading now.
She said Ryan is “halfway through Pre-K,” and has completed “his first season of soccer,” a sport Kyle loved. Railey isn’t old enough to remember her father but Cassi said when she shows her a photo of him, the little girl chirps “Dadda!”
There’s no silver lining to the loss her little family has suffered, Cassi admitted, but remembering with pride Kyle’s courage and sacrifice helps her cope with the unthinkable during another Christmas without him.

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Posted by on Dec 21 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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