Recently Colorado Gold Star families, military leaders, and Colorado elected officials dedicated the Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial near the state Capitol at Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park. The Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial will serve as a place of reflection for families of fallen service members and others to pay their respects and remember their sacrifices in service to our country.
In 2007, the Colorado Legislature passed, and Governor Bill Ritter signed into law the creation of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Commission to help erect a memorial near the Veterans Monument in Lincoln Park. In 2017 I was honored to join a bipartisan bill to authorize the next phase to complete the Fallen Heroes Memorial, in conjunction with the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund committee representing Gold Star families.
It is fitting that the Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial will now be part of the Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park. The Park was designed to serve as a place to commemorate the lives of Coloradans who died in 20th and 21st-century military conflicts including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
These fallen soldiers include El Paso County residents, who gave their lives in service to our country. Here are just a few of those soldiers that will be honored by this memorial:
SPC Rob Lee Nichols served two deployments during his three years in the Army, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. SPC Nichols was killed in action by a suicide bomber on July, 2013, near Soltan Kheryl in Afghanistan while on patrol. SPC Nichols grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from Sand Creek High School in 2007. SPC Rob Lee Nichols was 25 years old, and is survived by his parents, brother and sister.
Army Colonel Brian Allgood, a native of Colorado Springs and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, was the top medical officer for U.S. Troops in Iraq. On January 20th, 2007, Allgood died when his Black Hawk was shot down by hostile fire in Iraq. He is survived by his wife and son and parents.
Marine Sergeant Jason Smith was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Branch located in Japan. He died in November 2010 in Afghanistan while detonating a device. The 28-year-old from Colorado Springs is survived by his wife, parents, and sisters.
Chief Warrant Officer Scott Oswell served in the US Army and was trained as helicopter pilot. He had previously served honorably in the US Marines having enlisted at age 17. Scott attended Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, graduating in 1991. Chief Warrant Officer Oswell served two tours in Iraq, and was killed in Mosul, Iraq on July 4, 2007 in a helicopter crash. He left behind a wife and three children, his parents, and a sister and brother. Chief Warrant Officer Scott Oswell was 33 years old.
Captain Ryan Hall was with the 319th Special Operations Squadron. He died on February 18th, 2012 in Djibouti when his U-28 aircraft was in an accident. Ryan was born and raised in Colorado Springs and was on his seventh deployment with over 1,300 combat hours. He was 30 years old.
The Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial recognizes Coloradans who died in service to their country. We honor their ultimate sacrifice and dedication to the people of Colorado and to our nation.
It is also important to recognize the on-going efforts of the Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund through outreach to Colorado schools to bring speakers from Gold Star families, military veterans, active service members, and military historians. To understand the significance of Veterans Day, it is important for future generations to know the sacrifices made by veterans and “what it means to serve” as part of our commitment Never to Forget Colorado’s Fallen.
Terri Carver represents Colorado House of Representatives District 20.