COEUR D ALENE, ID, US
SPC, COMPANY B, 145TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION, POST FALLS, ID
07/07/2011, Baghdad, Iraq
In Nicholas’ own words. . . . . .
“I’m Nick Newby and I set my own standard. I was brought into this world at 12:42 A.M. on August 25, 1990 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. When I was two years old, I saw a moose pooping in my backyard. In June of 1996, at the age of five, my family and I moved to the beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and I have called this place home ever since. I attended elementary school at Sorensen, middle school at Woodland, freshman year at Lake City High School, sophomore year at Project CDA, Lake City again junior year and finished high school at the Bridge Academy. When I was fifteen years old, a couple good friends and I started a punk rock band and called it Trip Wire. We wrote about an album’s worth of songs and played enough shows with the right bands to qualify as rock stars. Trip Wire broke up in the summer of 2007. I graduated from the Bridge Academy in December of ’08 shortly after enlisting in the Idaho Army National Guard. I am currently serving in Iraq as a machine gunner doing convoy security. To be continued…”
My son, SPC Nicholas W. Newby was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq on July 7 2011 when insurgents attacked his convoy using an improvised explosive device. He was 20 years old.
Nick was assigned to the Bravo Company, 145th BSB as a Mechanic and later deployed in September 2010 as a Rhino Platoon member in support of Operation New Dawn. His awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Idaho National Guard State Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.
Anything I write about Nick will be an understatement, not coming even close to the reality of my son. Please keep this in mind when I say that Nick radiated positive energy and the smile never left his face. He made it his mission in life to have a good time and to ensure that everyone else did as well. His favorite saying was “Quit whining” or “Quit yer bitchen.” He would say this with a smile on his face so you couldn’t help but do what you were told to do. His signature sign was an enthusiastic two-thumbs-up! Nick was known for his humor and mischievousness. He loved being outdoors and his sense of adventure was limitless.
Nick was also a seeker of truth. He was an avid reader, studying religion while in Iraq but his interests focused primarily on history and philosophy. He loved to debate and would remain stalwart to his position to the end.
Nick’s work ethic was unfaltering. At 20 years old, he had worked hard and saved enough money to qualify for his first home when he returned from Iraq. He had plans to start his own business and return to school. Nick would never rest in his quest for a challenge and to reach the heights he knew himself capable of.
During his eulogy, his best friend, Halei, said “Nick was never one for showing affection or emotion but he loved deep and he loved wide. His friends, family and his doggie dog Jax meant the world to him. His face would just light up whenever he would talk about his brother, Nathan. Their bond was Nick’s most valued possession. He was so proud of Nathan’s accomplishments, his intelligence, his humor, his athletic abilities . . . . . but a little pissed that he was taller than him.”
During his memorial service in Iraq, his friend and chu-mate, Mike Longwill, said, “Loud, opinionated, personality, and of course, moustache. These are a few words that encompass the man we knew as Nick Newby. No one that knew him could deny that these describe him. He was always looking to make people laugh; he did so by being loud. Whether it be by screaming at the mosquitoes in the smoke pit or whistling 99 Red Balloons in the motor pool, making sure everyone could hear him. He did this because he knew that it would get stuck in our heads. Opinionated. Despite what he portrayed, Nick had a strong sense of morals, most of them based in legitimate philosophy. I say that they were strong because he refused to have his mind changed. He was set in his ways and wouldn’t budge for anyone. I liked that about him, but more times than not, it frustrated me to no end. We’d sit in our chu and discuss politics, which with anyone else I try to avoid, but he had a way of making me talk. I would try to hours to get him to see things in my perspective, but he wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t count the times I’ve heard him say, “No, you’re wrong” on subjects that were obviously up to personal opinion. Personality. Newby had more personality in his pinky than most people had in their whole body. He was a little guy, which we all know, so when I first met him I thought he was going to be mousey, and he was at first, still feeling us out, seeing where he was going to fit in. Once he found his niche, he blew up, showing us that he had more personality than all of us. Now last but not least we have the most distinguishing part about Newby, the one part of him that is a culmination of all the other things I mentioned. Moustache. Newby began growing that ridiculous thing when we were in Camp Shelby. Loud. When he grew out his moustache, he found out that his hair was a light brown. This simply would not do. So what did he do to fix it? He went out and got himself a box of facial hair dye and dyed the stache jet black. Light brown stache and light brown hair simply wasn’t loud enough for Nick. Opinionated. Countless people back home would berate him about that moustache, telling him it was creepy, it was ugly, all sorts of thing. What did Newby do in response? He refused to shave it, simply out of spite. He like the stache and if you didn’t then screw you, he didn’t care. Personality. See Newby had too much personality, there was no room in him for that moustache. So he created a personality for his moustache. I don’t know how many of you know this, but Nick’s moustache had a name. His name was Conky Fleugenhowgen, and he was a Lt. Col. in the German Air Force. All these things come together to make Nick Newby. Of course he was more than just these things. He meant something different to all of us. To me, he was a friend, a brother and someone who changed the way that I live my life. I’ve known most of the unit for years, Newby was a new recruit. But he made up for lost time and if I know one thing, it’s that I will never forget him.”
Nick was 10 months into his 12 month deployment. Although he fully believed in the service to his country and he thrived on the opportunity to serve a higher calling, he was ready to come home and start the next phase of his adventure. But on July 7 2011 his adventure ended and our lives were shattered. This portrait hangs in our living room, his smile always reminding us that he would want us to live our lives to the fullest, laugh and love. Nick is forever our hero and our inspiration. My pride knows no bounds.