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Soldiers dedicate new classroom to fallen comrade

Northwest Guardian

Published: 02:58PM August 1st, 2013

Sergeant Nicholas Dickhut didn’t care much for the spotlight, but his infantry and field artillery comrades gathered in his memory last week.

As a way to honor the fallen fire support NCO, Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment and 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, dedicated a new 3rd Bridgade, 2nd Infantry Division training facility July 23 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Joint Fires Observer classroom was named in honor of Dickhut, who died April 30, 2012, in Zharay, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to 1-37 FA and further attached for duty as an FSO to 5-20 Inf., Sykes Regulars.

Dickhut’s family attended the ceremony in classroom 146 in Building 3087, where Soldiers shared their memories of their brother in arms, and stood among the first to see a wall plaque unveiled in his honor.

“He probably wouldn’t have wanted all this attention,” said Dickhut’s older brother, Chris Dickhut.

“He would have laughed,” said Dickhut’s mother, Jacqueline Carson.

With Chris Dickhut residing in Washington and Carson living in Minnesota, the event brought the family together to remember a son and brother. Carson’s youngest son, David Carson, also attended, wearing an Army Combat Uniform his big brother, Nicholas, bought him for his birthday last year.

Dickhut’s family sat in the front row as Soldiers paid their respects, hugging them, shaking their hands and sharing memories of Dickhut. Carson in turn handed out dog tags with an image of Dickhut to remember him by.

Soldiers had another opportunity to share their memories of Dickhut through a video.

“We think about him all the time and wish he was still here,” a Soldier said.

Colonel Dave Bair, commander of 3rd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., and his wife talked with Carson as she spoke about her own service in the Army. She returned to Fort Stewart, Ga., exactly 30 years after she graduated from basic training, to see Dickhut graduate.

While on his second deployment, Dickhut was further assigned to the 5-20 Inf. in Combined Task Force Arrowhead, which was responsible for providing security force assistance to Afghan National Security forces conducting wide-area security operations.

“The dedication of this facility is a fitting tribute to an NCO who answered our nation’s call when others have not,” Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Dallas said.

Soldiers in 5-20 Inf. suggested the brigade dedicate the JFO classroom to Dickhut, a popular battalion forward observer. Lieutenant Colonel Rory Crooks unveiled the wall plaque featuring Dickhut’s photos and a name plate.

“I’m just in awe,” Carson said. “I thought he was pretty terrific myself, but I’m biased. To see the impact he’s had on others is just amazing that they thought so highly of him, which makes me proud.”