Fallen Hero Lance Cpl. Curtis Swenson, United States Marine Corps

Sgt. Nicholas M. Dickhut

December 31, 1988 - April 30, 2012
U. S. Army

Army Sgt. Nicholas Dickhut was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan on April 30, 2012. He was 23. Just before being sent out on his final mission Nicholas had called home to wish his younger brother, David, a happy ninth birthday. The day before he had chatted with his mother, Jackie Carson, on Facebook about the steps he was taking to be an Army aviator and earn his college degree. A graduate of Stewartville (MN) High, where he participated in honors English and accelerated math, Nicholas had been a post-secondary student taking college courses during his junior and senior years. He also took a special interest in American History and American veterans. Both his parents, Jacque & Randy Carson had served in the military. In his youth Nicholas joined and became an active member in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. At age 14 he was making his own armor and participating in medieval-style clashes. According to a fellow member, "We value chivalry and Nick was very chivalrous." This is where he met and became friends with his wife.

Just three days before his death Nicholas was photographed in an image that appeared on news websites all over the world. The Reuters News Agency photo showed him lining up a shot inside a dirt-floor building after coming under Taliban fire. He said to his family, "Look, Guys, Iím famous!"

His parents state that Nicholas was adventurous, kind, funny, and very determined! Joining the army in 2008, he was first deployed to Iraq where he sustained a knee injury that required surgery. States his battalion commander Lt. Col. Steven Soika, "Sgt. Dickhut worked tirelessly to rehabilitate himself. He was a beacon of duty, loyalty and selfless service who bore the responsibility of soldiering with a smile, and was respected as a leader and a motivator in his unit." He is survived by his wife Aliesha, his parents, 3 siblings, grandparents, numerous extended family, friends, and all those who loved him.

Portrait sponsored by:
- DAV Chapter 9, Rochester, MN