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Gazette Premium Content Afghanistan bombing kills soldier from Colorado Springs

By Tom Roeder Published: July 25, 2013

A soldier from Colorado Springs was one of three killed in an Afghanistan attack, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

Spc. Rob L. Nichols, 24, of Colorado Springs, died Tuesday when an insurgent's bomb detonated near Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan, a town southwest of the Afghan capital in Kabul.

He was serving with the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based 4th Brigade Combat team of the 3rd Infantry Division. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jonam Russell, 25, of Cornville, Ariz., and Sgt. Stefan M. Smith, 24 of Glennville, Ga.

Fort Stewart officials said Nichols, an infantryman, was on his first overseas deployment after joining the Army in 2010. Nichols was a 2007 graduate of Sand Creek High School who went to Pikes Peak Community College and studied at WyoTech in Laramie, Wyo., before joining the Army.

"He was an incredible kid, an incredible smart kid," said Sam Fuson, who was Nichol's supervisor at D&B Precision Products in Colorado Springs. "Just an awesome kid."

Fuson said Nichols had a great sense of honor and a natural talent for welding.

"He was a really great kid," he said.

Fuson was kicking himself Thursday when he learned of the death.

"I was in the military myself," Fuson said. "I told him one of the best thing he could do is join the military."

His friend Greg Smith, who attended diesel mechanics school with Nichols, was remembering the good times Thursday.

"He always lived life to the fullest," Smith said. "His motto was go big."

Smith said Nichols was a loyal friend. "

He would give you anything," Smith said. "He was always there for you."

Smith said Nichols joined the Army after having difficult finding work amid the recession.

"It suited what he liked to do - blow off steam," Smith said.

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