RICHMOND, VA, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, K CO, 3D BN, 3D MAR, 3D MAR DIV, MCBH KANEOHE BAY, HI ALISHANG, AFGHANISTAN 05/08/2005
Growing up in Fairfax County Virginia, Nick Kirven was a bright but bored student. He was known as a charismatic jokester, but took his military career extremely seriously. While still in high school, 17-year-old Kirven got special permission from his parents to enlist in the Marines.
Despite being in a combat zone, Kirven would post photos on a Web site he designed showing a cheerful, confident young man who seemed at ease in his surroundings. When he did request items from home, he would ask for food or beanie babies to pass out to Afghan children.
As an infantry rifleman, his unit had been called into an area called Alishanghad where they were engaged in a firefight with insurgents, driving them into a cave. Aircraft were called in to bomb the cave, but when Kirven, the squad leader, and another Marine went inside afterward to assess the situation, they were ambushed.
Kirven was a brave, caring man and a dedicated soldier who was proud of the humanitarian work that he was doing in Afghanistan, which included befriending many of the native people he met.
Kirven was serving with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Hawaii and attached to Combined Joint Task Force-7 during his deployment to Afghanistan.