POST FALLS, Idaho -- Two Idaho soldier of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team were killed in Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn.
The Department of Defense said they died July 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked their convoy using an improvised explosive device.
Specialist Nathan R. Beyers, 24, of Littleton, Colorado [but who lived in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area prior to his deployment] and Specialist Nicholas W. Newby, 20, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. They were assigned to 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team in Post Falls, Idaho.
"This is an extremely sad time for the Citizen Soldiers and Citizen Airmen of the Idaho National Guard," said Major General Gary L. Sayler, commanding general of the Idaho National Guard. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of these fine Idaho Citizen Soldiers, and we will work to help and support these families with many types of assistance over the coming days, weeks, months and years."
Specialist Beyers leaves behind his wife Vanessa Beyers and his daughter, born on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010.
"Nathan was proud of his job and serving our country. He died doing something he loved and was such a brave person. We just had our first child and Nathan had a chance to visit us when he was home on leave in January. I told him I knew he was going to be a wonderful father. We are going to miss him," said his wife Vanessa.
Specialist Newby leaves behind family members including his mother Theresa Hart, father Wayne Newby, brothers Nathan and Ryder and many other family members and friends in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area and Connecticut.
"Nick would do anything for anybody who needed his help. He'd stick by his friends and never gave up on anybody. He had a great sense of humor, ever since he was a kid. For instance, once when he saw his pregnant mom drinking orange juice, he said 'mom, you're getting orange juice all over the baby!' Nick was intellectually curious and an avid reader. He was also a planner - he researched things, planned out and then followed through will all he said. He was a great musician who played many instruments including guitar, bass guitar, saxophone and drums. Nick loved fishing, camping, road trips, learning to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and wrestling with his brother. He loved thrashing his truck and then fixing it; we recall digging him out of the snow and we all smiled through it. Nick loved his family, and everybody loved him," said his parents.
The 116th CBCT is in the midst of a yearlong mobilization and deployment to Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn. The brigade, made up of 2,700 Citizen Soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon, is expected to return to the U.S. in September of this year. The approximate numbers breakdown is: 1,500 from Idaho, 600 from Oregon, 600 from Montana.