LCpl Nicholas Kirven, 21, of Richmond, Va., was killed May 8, 2005, as a result of enemy action in Alishang, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Kirven joined the Marines while still in high school after the 9/11 attacks, and deployed to Afghanistan in October 2004. Kirven was awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was survived by his mother and step-father, Elizabeth and Michael Belle, his father, Rusty Kirven, his brothers, Joseph Belle and Joe Purcell, and his sister, Mary-Pride Kirven.

β€œI remember Nick giving out toys, candy, food, and whatever else he had to local kids while we were out on patrol. I remember him looking at their smiles and saying, β€˜See, it really makes it all worthwhile,” said Cpl. Nick Collier.

The Travis Manion Foundation provided a Challenge Grant to five Marines – Nick Collier, Nathan Noble, Ross Graves, Matt Dixon, and Jordan Mazar – empowering them to hike the Appalachian Trail in honor of LCpl Nicholas Kirven and other Fallen Heroes. Through the mental and physical challenge of the hike, the men honored the lives of the fallen and shared in the camaraderie of the Marine Corps.

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