Bryan enlisted in the Army while a Junior in H.S. in 1996 and went to basic training in May of 1997 at age 17. He served with the 388th MEDLOG Battalion(Hays), from enlistment in 1996, to Nov. 2006. He deployed to Iraq twice, in Aug. 21, 2002, and Jan. 20, 2003. Then, in Sept. 2004 he was deployed on a six month mission to Kosovo. While in Kosovo he connected with Pilots and Flight Crew of the helicopter Company stationed at Camp Bondsteel, talking and sometimes flying with them. His dream of being a pilot soon became a reality when he was accepted to Ft. Rucker Warrant Officer School Dec. 3, 2006. He graduated from Flight School, with distinction, on April 30, 2008. His excellent proficiency in flight school allowed him to choose to fly the Chinook CH-47. He was very proud of this. He loved flying and was a dedicated professional in all aspects of his flying and military service. After flight school his Permanent Duty Station became New Century Airfield, Gardner, KS, assigned to 7-158'" AVN REGT. His last deployment was to Afghanistan with the 7-158th on May 11, 2011.

His hobbies included doing everything with his son, Braydon, spending time with his wife, and riding his Harley. On May 16, 2012, the highway interchange of I-70 and US-183 in Hays, KS was dedicated as the CW2 Bryan J. Nichols Fallen Veterans Memorial Interchange.
KILLED IN ACTION August 6, 2011, Wardak Province, Afghanistan (along with (20) Seal Team Six, Special Ops Soldiers plus (10) others).

Character Strength Stories: 

Humility - He never wanted recognition for anything that he was good at. There was even a rumor that went around flight school that he had previous flight experience (he didn’t) because he was that good.

Kindness - He was kind to everyone who knew him. Even through difficult times, he did whatever was needed to be done to take care of his son.

Love - When he moved to KC we still drove every other weekend to Hays (4hrs away), so he could spend time with his son. He loved his son more than anything.

- Mary, Surviving Wife

The Travis Manion Foundation honored CW2 Bryan Nichols with 30 other Fallen Heroes through our Character Does Matter program at the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., on Jan. 18, 2013. Bryan’s family honored him on the 2016 New Mexico Expedition and 2022 Alaska Expedition.

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