|Birth: ||Sep. 24, 1985|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 2011|
Frankfurt am Main
SrA Nicholas Alden was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart by Air Force officials, who presented it to his widow. She attended the funeral Saturday 19 March with her and her husband's two children — 3-year-old Lilly and 1-year-old Will.
As an Air Force officer solemnly handed Trish Alden the American flag from her husband's coffin, she wept quietly while clutching it to her chest.
SrA Alden's Guest Book:
SENIOR AIRMAN NICHOLAS J. ALDEN, USAF
MILDENHALL, ENGLAND - The Funeral Service for Senior Airman Nicholas Jerome Alden, USAF, age 25, will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 19, 2011, in the Sanctuary of Boulevard Baptist Church, 700 Boulevard, Anderson, SC. Interment with Full Military Honors will follow at M.J. "Dolly" Cooper Veterans Cemetery, 140 Inway Drive, Anderson, SC.
Senior Airman Alden was born September 24, 1985 in Stuttgart, Germany, and was a graduate of Palmetto High School. Following graduation, he joined the United State Air Force and attained the rank of Senior Airman.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Patricia Brooks Alden and children: Lillian and William, all of Mildenhall, England; mother, Cathy Garner of Iva, SC; father, James Alden of Ayer, MA; siblings: Joe Alden of Indianapolis, IN, David Alden of Washington, DC, and Kelseyanne Alden of Atlanta, GA; and grandparents: Rothert and Delight Whitfield of Abbeville, SC.
A message of condolence may be sent by visiting www.mcdougaldfuneralhome.com.
THE McDOUGALD FUNERAL HOME is in charge of the funeral arrangements.
As a terrorist opened fire on his brothers in arms outside Frankfurt International Airport, Senior Airman Nicholas Alden didn't retreat. Despite a wife and two children at home, whom he loved beyond any measure, he had to stop the gunman from killing his friends.
That's just the kind of person Nick was, according to those who knew him best. As a military police officer, Alden was trained to react to these types of frantic situations, even though a terrorist attack in Germany was probably not something he would have expected. But after the alleged gunman reportedly screamed "Allah Akbar" and murdered the driver of the Air Force bus, Senior Airman Alden immediately sprang into action.
"I don't know all of the details, but apparently he was instrumental in keeping the other people on the bus safe," the fallen airman's mother, Army veteran Cathy Garner, told The Anderson Independent Mail.
Kirk Brown's article said Alden's wife, Trish, is left to care for a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. While the pain she is experiencing at this hour is incomprehensible to someone who hasn't gone through it, I have no doubt that the patriotic Upstate South Carolina community of Williamston will band together to support this grieving widow and the couple's small kids when they return from England, where Senior Airman Alden was stationed.
"She is a wonderful woman," Garner said of her daughter-in-law.
Senior Airman Alden, 25, had already served in Iraq, and was headed to Ramstein Air Base, assigned to the 48th Security Forces Squadron, based out of RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. He was preparing for an upcoming deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, which is quite possibly the war on terror's most critical battlefield.
Yet on an unlikely front of this worldwide post-9/11 conflict, Alden dealt a major defeat to terrorists seeking to hijack our way of life. Even though he and another Air Force hero lost their lives, and two more were wounded, the accused attacker failed his stated goal to kill many more U.S. service members, due in major part to Alden's willingness to risk everything for the friends beside him.
Senior Airman Alden was posthumously awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal during a memorial service today at Lakenheath air base in England.
More than 500 airmen and family members gathered in hangar 7 to honor Alden, according to a news story filed by Senior Airman David Dobrydney of the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs unit.
What Trish Alden, Cathy Garner, and many more relatives and friends of Senior Airman Nick Alden are going through right now is heartbreaking and tragic. Another Air Force family is experiencing similar pain, and loved ones of two warriors injured in this terrorist attack are praying for their recovery. Yet because of the bravery we now know was on display in Frankfurt, there are many more families thanking God that their loved ones were spared.
Alden's mother, Cathy Garner of Iva, said his son's widow and their two young children are expected to travel back to the United States in the next few days. Trish Aldin and her 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter were living in England, where her husband was stationed at Lakenheath airfield.
Nick Alden had been in Germany training for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. He previously served a tour of duty in Iraq.
Garner said her son's funeral will happen in Upstate South Carolina. She also said the service will likely take place this week, though final arrangements are pending.
- Posted by Tom Sileo unknownsoldiersblog.com.
Lakenheath pays tribute to fallen Airman
by Senior Airman David Dobrydney
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/12/2011 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- More than 500 Airmen and family members gathered in Hangar 7 here March 11 to honor the memory of Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden.
Airman Alden, a 48th Security Forces Squadron senior patrolman, was killed March 2 in a shooting at Frankfurt International Airport.
The service painted a picture of a devoted man who deeply loved his family and his unit.
The first eulogy was given by Elder Craig Wright of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I am humbled to know that we are gathered here as a family seeking to reach out to an individual and his family. What a powerful principle you are demonstrating here today," Elder Wright said.
The elder went on to tell the audience about Airman Alden's upbringing and family life.
"He was dependable, he took on a lot at a young age to help his single mother," he said. "He loved life and was a loyal son, husband and brother."
Col. Cassie Barlow, the 48th Mission Support Group commander, spoke next, saying to Airman Alden's children, Lilly and Will, "I'm going to tell you about your awesome dad."
Airman Alden was a stellar security forces Airman, Colonel Barlow said, both at his previous assignment at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and RAF Lakenheath. After he mastered his specialties, he helped other Airmen learn theirs.
"(Airman Alden) was a professional who knew his job inside and out," Colonel Barlow said. "He was always looking for a problem to solve and making our Air Force a better place."
A testament to the far-reaching effects of Airman Alden's death, Louis Susman, the U.S. Ambassador to Britain, brought with him a message from President Barack Obama.
"(President Obama) said, and I quote, 'His death stands as a stark reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices all of our men and women in uniform are making all around the world,'" Ambassador Susman said.
Col. John T. Quintas, the 48th Fighter Wing commander, spoke directly to Airman Alden's wife, Trish.
"I hope you feel like you are surrounded by family, because you are," he said, telling the audience of the unique place security forces holds within the Air Force.
"Their mission is to protect and defend, to rush to the sound of gunfire and stand in harm's way," Colonel Quintas continued before lauding the amount of support that has appeared from across the Lakenheath community and the world.
After such glowing words from clergy, military and civilian leaders, a few of Airman Alden's fellow security forces Airmen came forward to offer their thoughts. One was Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, who survived the shooting that took Airman Alden's life.
"He wasn't just a subordinate, he was a brother," Sergeant Brewer said. "Every time he walked into a room, it lit up. It was an honor and a privilege to know him."
As eulogies concluded, Airman Alden was posthumously awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal as a 21-gun rifle volley sounded, and a "missing man" formation of F-15 Eagles roared overhead.
The gathered Airmen and families then were given the opportunity to come forward to pay their last respects to Airman Alden.
"I'm extremely proud of Nick Alden and all the other defenders who were worthy to stand at his side, behind him, in front of him, and will now stand in his place," said Lt. Col. Michael Ross, the 48th SFS commander. "He will always be part of our lives."
Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden , 25, of Indianapolis, served in the Air Force overseas. Alden was assigned to the 48th Security Forces Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in England. He and a dozen other airmen were on a bus headed to Afghanistan when a gunman opened fire.
Nick Alden served as a military police officer. Police said he died trying to stop the gunman from shooting anyone else on the bus.
The Alden brothers grew up in Indy's Warren Township. Nick Alden later moved to South Carolina, where he met his wife.
The couple just had their second child, Will, not quite a year ago.
Some of Nick Alden's family prepared to go to Germany on Thursday to pick up Nick's body, except for Joe Alden, who decided to stay in Indianapolis to comfort extended family members.
"The thing that I'm going to miss the most is being able to talk to him, being able to see him. It hurts even worse because he's got two children and they won't get to fully know him and what a great person he was," Joe Alden said.
Joe Alden said he is making plans to greet his brother's body in South Carolina and assist with funeral arrangements.
Copyright 2011 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved.
Nick's parents were told that their youngest son charged the gunman after seeing him fatally shoot the bus driver. At least 10 airmen dressed in civilian clothes were on the bus at the time of the shooting, according to media reports.
"I don't know all of the details, but apparently he was instrumental in keeping the other people on the bus safe," said Nick's mother, Cathy Garner, who teaches English at Starr-Iva Middle School.
Garner told the news organization that she and Alden's father had served in the military together. She gave birth to her son on a base in Germany. Alden had served a six-month tour in Iraq, and was headed for another deployment in Afghanistan, leaving his wife and young children in England, where he had been stationed at Lakenheath air base.
Besides his parents, two older brothers and a younger sister, Alden is survived by his widow, Trish, and their 3-year-old daughter, Lilly, and 1-year-old son, William.
Garner last saw her son at Thanksgiving, while he visited relatives in relatives in Anderson County.
He had served in Iraq and most recently was stationed at Lakenheath airfield in eastern England, His wife and children are in England.
Alden was in Germany training for his coming deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, Garner said.
Garner herself is an Army veteran. Her son was born in Germany while his father was stationed at a U.S. military base there.
Alden was interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, Garner said. He received training in military security after joining the Air Force, she said.
"He wanted to serve," Garner said.
© 2011 Anderson Independent Mail.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to ~Heather~ for sponsoring Nicholas Alden's memorial.
God bless you for your kindness, generosity and love for America.
William Jon Alden (2010 - 2012)*
M.J. Dolly Cooper Veterans Cemetery
South Carolina, USA
Plot: Section H, Row 7, Grave Site 317
Maintained by: James Myers
Originally Created by: SSBJ
Record added: Mar 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66440371