There were tears and memories shared by many during a memorial service held Tuesday for Army Spc. Nicholas B. Burley, 22, who died July 30 while serving in Afghanistan.
The service was held at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary. Following a procession, there was a public celebration at American Legion Post 587 in Foresthill.
Approximately 100 people attended the memorial service in Nevada City to express their condolences to Burley’s family.
Burley reportedly died due to injuries received in an indirect fire attack on his unit by enemy forces.
He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Burley’s family resides in Nevada County and in the Red Bluff and Foresthill areas; his mother, Tammy Kneebone, was born and raised in western Nevada County.
He was greatly loved by everyone around him, many at the service said.
“He was always smiling, always joking,” said cousin Cameron Newman.
Family friend Ashli Green agreed.
“He always had a smile on his face. He was just a sarcastic, fun kind of guy,” she said in between wiping the tears from her cheek.
Representatives of the Missing in America Project attended the service out of respect for Burley, they said. The veterans’ recovery program serves to “identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans … to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country, by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes,” according to its website.
“It’s really important for us to be here just because we’re old veterans. We made it back, and Nick didn’t. It’s an obligation for us to be here out of respect for him and his family,” said Fred Salanti, head of the MIAP.
The family is asking for donations for care packages to Burley’s platoon. Contact American Legion Hall in Foresthill or the Military Outreach at Bayside Church, Granite Bay.
Maya Anderman, a Nevada Union High School grad, is an intern with The Union. Contact her via email at email@example.com.