LENA, WI, US
SPC, A COMPANY, 415TH CIVIL AFFAIRS BATTALION, KALAMAZOO, MI
02/16/2004, BAQUBAH, IRAQ
A Wisconsin soldier from Lena who specialized in civil affairs was killed after only two weeks in Iraq when an improvised explosive device struck her convoy, authorities and family members said Tuesday.
Private First Class. Nichole M. Frye, 19, was assigned to Company A, 415th Civil Affairs Battalion of the Army Reserve in Kalamazoo, Mich. Her mother, Lisa Frye, told The Associated Press the family received a computer e-mail from her daughter about a week ago explaining some of her duties. She had been in Iraq only about two weeks.
She was delivering supplies like water and food and books to the kids,” she said. “She said everything was fine over there. The weather was really nice.” But she said her daughter had been concerned about being shipped to Iraq.
“I think she had some fears of going over there,” she said. “Actually she wanted to try and stay in the states because of my health.”
Lisa Frye said she was recovering from major back surgery at the time her daughter was being assigned to Iraq, but her daughter’s request was not granted. Employees and friends at Wayne’s Family Restaurant, 805 Brazeau Ave., Oconto, where Frye worked since she was 14, we’re shocked by the news of her death.
Karen Thompson, owner of the restaurant, spoke on behalf of her co-workers about Frye, who started as a dishwasher and worked her way up to be a waitress. She described Frye as a hard worker who was always concerned about the business and the people around her. She was engaged to the son of another waitress at the restaurant and was worried about serving in Iraq.
“I think that was encompassing her last few months because of the fact that she knew that she was going,” she said. “That’s what she showed us around here. She had one wish and that was to be around for last Christmas and she did get that wish. She was scared; she told my daughter that she had a really bad feeling about going.”
Like with her mother, Frye sent three e-mails to Thompson, one she received on the day of her unfortunate death.
“Right after she left in January, before she shipped out, I got an e-mail from her that said, “If I make it to heaven before you, I’ll wait for you,” and it just caught me off-guard,” said Thompson. “Then when she got there she e-mailed and said that she was there.”
“When I heard that she was killed, I opened my e-mail and there was her response,” said Thompson. “She said the weather was nice, but the sandstorms were coming in and one minute it was sunny and the next it was orange and you couldn’t see anything.”
Nichole Frye played flute in her high school band and participated as a majorette before graduating in 2002, her mother said. The news has been difficult for Nichole’s 18-year-old sister, Crystal, and 14-year-old brother, William, Lisa Frye said. “That was their big sister.”
“She was really fun, a loving, outgoing person,” her mother said. “She loved to help people. That’s part of the reason she joined the Army.”