James M Nolen

James M Nolen

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U.S. Army

My name is Rachel Nolen the proud widow of Army Sergeant James Michael Nolen. James was KIA in Afghanistan on November 22, 2009. He was in Charlie Company, 2/508 PIR, 4 BCT, 82nd Airborne.

On November 22, 2009 my entire world came crashing down around me. I couldn’t believe it I was 26 and a widow with a 7 year old boy and 4 months pregnant with our baby girl James always called his “little peanut”. James was my soul mate my one true love we knew from the day we met each other that we were meant to spend forever together. Not only is he just an amazing husband and father he is my best friend and my hero. He was the perfect husband. He couldn’t wait for our peanut to come in May. It just breaks my heart that he will never get to hold her or see her. When I told him I was pregnant I made him promise not to tell anybody until I got farther along so he just told his buddies that he was pregnant. He was so proud all he could do was talk about the baby and all the things we were going to do. He was so excited for his mid-tour leave in February so he could come home and decorate the baby’s room. Every time we talked he would tell me how many days till he came home to me, our son Will and little peanut as he called her. She was born May 7, 2010 and was named Jamie Micheal after her daddy.

He was so proud of Will that was his son he loved him so much. He would sign every letter/email he sent to him Love your dad James. They would spend hours riding bikes, chasing each other around the house having nerf gun wars breaking everything in their path, (James wanted to make sure he turned him into a daredevil just like him). A few weeks before he deployed he bought will a pair of ACUs and got everything sewn onto Wills uniform so he could be just like daddy. He even bought him dog tags. The look on James’ face the first time he saw will all dressed up was priceless he was so proud he went and showed him off to all of his buddies bragging how Will was just like him. His daddy was his own personal hero.

All I know is me and Will were so lucky to of had James in our lives his impact on Will alone was breathtaking. I just wish I could bring him back and give him one last hug and kiss and tell him how much I love him. He would always tell me when I got bummed about him being gone not to worry what’s a year when we have forever to spend together. I just wish forever wasn’t so short. I miss him so much. He is my hero and I will make sure will and Jamie Micheal always know how amazing there daddy was. As Will says ”daddy went to heaven to be an angel and god is teaching him how to fly so he can daredevil again.”

James leaves behind me, our little miracle Jamie, his step-son William, and both his parents.

James’ portrait is also on Poster 10


2 Responses to “James M Nolen”
  1. Rachel Nolan says:

    Dear Eric & Michael,

    I want to begin by apologizing for taking so long to thank you for the amazing portrait of James, William and Jamie. As you know on May 7th I gave birth to me and James miracle baby Jamie Micheal Nolen and between taking care of her and our son I have been very busy. As crazy as it sounds after I returned home from my husbands funeral in Texas I immediately filled my walls with pictures of James and our family. I took down all those pretty black and white photos of forests and landscapes and replaced them with pictures that reminded me and our son of all the amazing memories we had made throughout the years. The portrait you made of James and the kids was absolutely amazing and a wonderful addition to the photos on my walls. Me and William have spent hours staring at the drawing continually being amazed at how real it looks. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for my family. You are an amazing artist. I will treasure this picture forever it looks as if James is really holding Jamie.

    Thank you again for everything you have done for me and all my fellow gold star families,
    Rachel Nolen

  2. William Allen says:


    My name is William Allen, and I was the Master Sergeant that was given the privilege of helping your mother in law through the difficult time you both suffered in 2009. Your husband was a fine man and Soldier by all accounts. It was an honor and privilege to be allowed to serve your family. I am still in awe today of your and your families strength, as well as that of the small community that came out in droves to pay respects to James. God Bless you all;

    MSG William E. Allen

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