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Press Release
December 16, 2003
Oregon National Guard killed in vehicle accident in Iraq
 
Oregon National Guard killed in vehicle accident in Iraq; Nine other Soldiers Injured in Five Ton Truck rollover
 
Albany-based unit heavily involved with rebuilding effort outside Mosul

A soldier assigned to Bravo Company, 52nd Engineers, an Albany, Oregon, based unit in the Oregon National Guard, was killed when the vehicle he was driving rolled. Spec. Nathan Nakis was driving a five-ton cargo truck, while returning from an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon qualification range on December 15th when he swerved to avoid what looked to be an Improvised Explosive Device in the center of the road. The vehicle apparently hit an oil and water slick and rolled off the road.
 
Spec. Nakis was air evacuated to the 21st Corps Support Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. Nine other soldiers from Bravo Company who were passengers in the truck were injured but none seriously. Three remain in the CSH overnight pending X-rays.
 
Spec. Nakis parents, of Cedro-Wolley, Wash. were notified this afternoon. Names of the additional soldiers are being withheld pending notification of family members.
 
52nd Engineers part of rebuilding effort in Iraq
 
The unit, a combat construction heavy engineer company, is deeply involved in rebuilding critical infrastructure in war-torn Iraq. The unit recently finished building the House of Hope Orphanage for boys in Mosul. This project became the “Village of Hope” after integrating the efforts of scores of Iraqi civilians that had learned basic construction and engineering skills from the B-52nd Engineers. Additionally, they are building houses for homeless families, roads and have assisted in extinguishing several oil fires.
 
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Nakis family during this tragic time. He was an extraordinary soldier in an extraordinary unit doing some of the most important work in rebuilding the nation of Iraq,” said Brig. Gen. Raymond C. Byrne, Jr., Acting Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard.
 
For more information, please see the unit website at:
 
 http://www.rainbowmarketing.com/b52nd/soldierweek_nakis.htm
 
Please contact Maj. Arnold V. Strong at the number above for all media inquiries.
 
For more information contact:
 
Maj. Arnold Strong
 503-932-2832