Specialist Rob Lee Nichols was among three killed when a suicide bomb exploded on his convoy in Afghanistan last Tuesday. He was stationed in Georgia and grew up in Colorado Springs. On Sunday, 11 News sat down with his family.
A framed photo of Spc. Nichols sits on the family’s kitchen table with the words “Home of the Free Because of the Brave.”
"He was always putting somebody else first and then taking care of himself,” his stepfather Bob Ribisi explained. Ribisi says his stepson was a natural born leader; with a vivacious and caring spirit, he would give you the shirt off of his back. Nichols would even call his mom for recipes to make dinner for the guys.
"A soldier would walk by and he'd say 'Come here, I’m making dinner, you want some?' Another soldier walked by and he'd say 'Are you hungry?' Before he knew it he had a room full of guys,” Donna Ribisi recalled.
His family always knew he was special, but they had no idea just how many lives he touched until the letters from fellow soldiers started pouring in.
"It’s an honor getting these letters and pictures from these kids...it brings comfort," Donna Ribisi said.
While there will forever be a void in the family, his parents could not be more proud of their son.
"He was a very special young man. He did the right thing, he served our country, and we will continue to serve our soldiers," Donna Ribisi said.
"I know that once he is brought back to the Springs it's going to hit. It's going to make it true that he has passed," Bob Ribisi said.
His family asks instead of flowers, a donation be made to the Wounded Warrior Foundation in his name.