|Birth: ||Jan. 7, 1979, USA|
|Death: ||Nov. 15, 2005, Iraq|
Lance Cpl. Nickolas D. Schiavoni of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
The following is part of a speech presented by Nicky's Mother Stephany Kern.
"Nicky was on his 2nd deployment to Iraq and the first time he was shot in the arm. He earned a Purple Heart on that deployment. This time he earned another one. This time he was killed. I wish all of you could have known my son. He was the type of friend who would quite literally give you the coat off his back. He was the type of brother who always wanted to know how his sister was doing and he loved to tease her like all big brothers do. He was the type of son who did not want his Mom or Dad to worry about him. He would always say to me, "I'm okay. Don't worry." He was a loving husband and oh he so loved his children Marissa and Alex. It may be too early for me to speak in public but when Jackie [from the Rhode Island chapter of Military Families Speak Out] asked me I just could not say no. It's important to speak out about the cost of this war because we are paying for it with far too much of our children's blood and far beyond my Child's precious life. Nicky was killed just after Veterans Day. Nicky's coming home, was followed by his wake and funeral. Then there was Nicky Schiavoni day, that will be every November 26th in Massachusetts as declared by Governor Romney who could not attend the funeral. Then there was Thanksgiving, and then Christmas and then Nicky's Birthday, which is January 7th. I will probably always say it IS January 7th rather than saying it WAS January 7th. There are thousands of Mothers that do that same thing. Saying "is" instead of "was". We still speak in the present tense some of the time when we are talking about our children who are our country's soldiers. They are our men and women who have been killed in this war. I'm sure that it's the same for the Mothers of the all the Iraqis, men, women and children that have been and are being killed in this war. Nicky was my wonderful son. He was hardworking and fun loving. He ran with a very close-knit group of friends. This group of boys were close to him since early childhood. I remember one day in May, years ago, when they were all between the ages of 12-13, they all came running up from the cellar with bald heads. They were rubbing their heads each others heads and laughing. Nicky said "Ma, look what we did!" He had the clippers in his hand and I was just looking at them and what they had done. Trust me I was looking, with my mouth hanging open, and he said…"we did this for Mothers day"…. and he was looking at me like I would completely understand…and I just shook my head up and down and said well that's nice, and I didn't really understand, and I was wondering if I was going to get a phone call from one of the other mothers…and then I told them they had to clean up the hair in the cellar before his father got home.
As I said earlier; Nickolas was the type of friend who would give another friend his coat. Even if it's the one big Christmas present he asked for and got. I picked him up at school and it was freezing. When I asked him where his coat was he said, "It's not that cold…". and when I pressed the question and said "Nicky, where is your coat?" He finally answered that he gave it to Chris because Chris needed it more than he did, and that he (Nick) had his sweatshirt. He said that Chris's mom was having a hard time and that she was a single mom. What he was telling me is that they were having a harder time than we were. Nicky cared about people, he cared about his friends. He cared about his sister. Oh those two! Whenever they got together they could be heard from miles around. He would tease her mercilessly and she would give it right back to him. Vanessa now struggles every day with her personal loss. She misses him terribly as do his many friends and relatives. Nicky's Uncles miss him. When Nicky was home visiting us they would all take Nicky out for steak, cigars and then a few hands of poker in some back room somewhere. My brother Chris was also Nicky's godfather. He made it his responsibility to take Nick out for a real guy's night out every time Nicky would come home. My brother told me that he and the other Uncles would fight over who would pay for Nicky's dinner. They all would be throwing money in the center of the table wanting the honor of paying for his dinner. Nicky really got a kick out of that. They loved Nicky and they miss him. He loved his Aunts. Nicky did this neat thing with my older sister Becky, who he always called Auntie Becky. He mostly called his other aunts by their first names…but by doing so he gave her a special respectful position which was and still is important to her. He was sensitive to these types of things. As for his aunts Sheryl and Rachel, he loved them dearly. He was always joking with me about being in a race with Sheryl and Rachel to see who was going to have more kids. They of course miss him terribly as well. He was very proud of his children, and he was proud to be a Dad. I can't even imaging with it's like for his young wife Gina and his children Marissa who is 4 and Alex who is 3 to be without Nicky. My son joined the Marines to provide for his family. Marissa was 18 months old when he joined. She needed heart surgery. She was born with two holes in her heart and a tear in the flap that pumps the blood. Nick's son Alex was three months old when Nick joined. He needed a job that would provide health care for his family. There were no jobs for him in either Massachusetts or Rhode Island that would also provide health insurance. And so off to boot camp Nicky went. In boot camp Nicky broke his leg although the military initially diagnosed this as a sprain. They had him run on it anyway, but he couldn't run fast enough. His feet would start to bleed for no apparent reason. Finally they diagnosed him properly. He had broken his leg and it was not healing. The running had created serious damage. It took him nearly 5 months to get through boot camp because it took his leg so long to heal. From then on, I would think of him limping through Iraq rather then running. When he came home for Marissa's operations (he was still in boot camp.) we convinced him to quit. He had to go back to Camp Lejeune and tell the Marines he was quitting. He was supposed to quit, get on a bus and come home. They left him outside for 11 days until he changed his mind. About four weeks before he was killed I got a phone call from his wife. She said the word had come down that the entire platoon was not doing well emotionally. They were depressed and they all had PTSD. They were prescribed anti-depressants. So Nicky was taking them in a war zone, even though the RX bottles domestically instruct one not to operate heavy machinery when taking this medication. He was different when he came home the first time. He spent three weeks in the hospital until they finally diagnosed a hernia and an ulcer, his marriage was strained and he physically shook for months. He was depressed, and he definitely did not want to go back. He went because he said he needed to meet his commitment. He started this and he was going to finish it." He died from a suicide, vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces at age 26.
2nd Marine Regiment
2nd Marine Division
II Marine Expeditionary Force
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Saint James Cemetery
Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: May 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14343280