Born September 11, 1981 in Middlebury, Vermont
Died September 21, 2013 in Gardez, Paktia Province, Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Liam Jules Henry Nevins, 32, of Denver, Colorado. Liam was the third child born to William and Victoria Nevins, and their only son. He spent the first part of his youth in New Hampshire and the second part in Bristol, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. Coming from a family that encouraged education and adventure, Liam was an avid reader, especially anything about world events and history, and he was a gifted creative writer. At the age of 14 he visited an older sister in the state of Colorado and fell in love with the mountains. He thought maybe he would like to be a cowboy when he grew up. He returned to Pennsylvania and graduated from high school there in 2000, having already enlisted in the Army’s delayed entry program. Liam served in the active military for six years, deploying three times, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When his enlistment ended, he moved to Colorado where he attended Metropolitan State College in Denver from August 2006 until May 2009. During this time he spent as much time as he could in the mountains- snowboarding, back packing, climbing and biking. He also worked security for the Denver Broncos Football Team. The cowboy in him felt restless. He wanted to be doing more, so after learning he could become a Green Beret, in May of 2009, he enlisted into the Colorado National Guard and attended the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, NC. He was then assigned to 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, in Watkins, Colorado. He began his fourth deployment and was set to end his military career in October of 2013 and return home and marry his fiancée. In early September, he was shot in the arm by the enemy. He had the choice of letting it heal there or going home for good. With just three weeks left, he said he couldn’t leave his men. “That would be like amputating my soul.” Left at camp alone for a couple of days, Liam made a slide show of what he did while left all by himself. There were pictures of him watching TV, playing on the computer, and making meals. In every picture he was naked, and comfortable. His commanding officer learned you just don’t leave Liam alone. Liam returned to duty and on September 21, an enemy soldier opened fire on a group of soldiers conducting range training at Forward Operating Base Shank. Liam and two other Special Forces soldiers were killed. Liam considered Colorado to be his home, second to Philadelphia. His remains came home to Denver on September 30. The day before, the Denver Broncos played host to The Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams played tribute to Liam and his sacrifice and applauded his family. Liam’s funeral was held on October 2, his coffin carried by a team of horses pulling a hearse from 1867 to his final resting place in the foothills of his beloved Colorado. The dictionary not only defines “cowboy” as a man who tends cattle on horseback, but as “an adventurous hero.” Liam fulfilled his dream of being a cowboy.
Burial: Fort Logan National Cemetery Section 5, Site 999