KANSAS CITY, MO, USA
LCPL, F CO, 2D BN, 2D MAR, (RCT-7, 2D MEB-FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
GARMSIR, AFGHANISTAN 11/22/2009
Lance Corporal Nicholas J. Hand was killed during combat operations on Sunday.
Hand, who was the third oldest of 10 brothers and sisters, graduated from Oak Park High School in December 2007. His mother, Dawn Hand, said he graduated early so he could join the Marine Corps.
He was only 17, but his parents agreed to sign him up if he could “prove to us he really wanted to go,” Hand told KMBC’s Martin Augustine. “When he was ready, in February, we signed for him. And he went to California.”
His boot camp was in San Diego. Soon after, he was off to Iraq, serving one tour of duty there, before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Hand told his mother he was fighting for freedom.
His mother said Nicholas had a lot of friends in high school.
“Nicholas was a socialite,” Hand said.
She said he always made time for everyone in the family.
“Instead of mourning, we’re going to celebrate him because he was dedicated to both his family and his friends. And not just us, but for his cause. And he definitely deserves some respect for that,” Hand said.