|Birth: ||Jun. 16, 1981|
|Death: ||Aug. 18, 2005|
THIS LISTING IS A MEMORIAL CENOTAPH. ACTUAL BURIAL IS ELSEWHERE
Soldier killed in Iraq explosion
In high school, Nathan K. Bouchard was a 5-foot-5-inch "little bulldog" who bored through offensive lines and into backfields for the occasional sack.
"He probably weighed 135 pounds soaking wet," said former football coach Mark Chandler. "He created havoc for the opposing teams. When you watched films, you could really see the guys cheating, trying to pull him down."
Bouchard, 24, of Wildomar, Calif., died Aug. 18 in Samarra when a bomb detonated near his vehicle. He was based at Fort Stewart and was on his second deployment. Neighbors said Nathan was always active, shooting hoops for hours with other children in the neighborhood. He also loved to surf, hike and mountain bike.
"He was always happy," said Steve Harding, a family friend. "I'd never seen him in a bad mood."
Bouchard graduated from high school in 1999 and spent two years at Mt. San Jacinto College before enlisting. He often signed his letters home with "Esse quam Verdi" — Latin for "to be rather than to seem."
He is survived by his parents, Alida and John.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
In Memory of Sgt. Nathan Bouchard- Closer to Home
Last month, we lost a young man local to where I live. One could easily read the following article, with the names of four soldiers, sigh, say a prayer for the families, and keep reading.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on August 18, 2005, in Samarra, Iraq, where an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV following a mine-assessing mission. The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
- Sgt. Nathan K. Bouchard, 24, of Wildomar, Calif.
- Staff Sgt. Jeremy W. Doyle, 24, of Chesterton, Md.
- Spc. Ray M. Fuhrmann, II, 28, of Novato, Calif.
- Pfc. Timothy J. Seamans, 20, of Jacksonville, Fla.
Army Sgt. Nathan Bouchard, 24, Wildomar; Killed by Bomb in Iraq
By Daniel Hernandez, Times Staff Writer
"I am a soldier in the United States Army, 21 years old, and [now in Iraq]," begins a letter to the editor published in the Riverside Press-Enterprise in April 2003, signed by a serviceman named Nathan Bouchard.
"You ask, 'Why, why are we in the Middle East? Why don't we leave Saddam alone? Why do we even get involved?'…. It is because somebody has to…. Because, as you know, problems do not go away just by closing your eyes or turning your back or burying your head in the sand.
"This freedom we have was not free."
Bouchard, 24, died in Samarra, Iraq, on Aug. 18 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee.
Riverside County, Bouchard was on a second and extended tour of duty in Iraq. He enlisted in the Army in May 2002, spurred by patriotic sentiments after the 2001 terrorist attacks, his parents said.
"Nathan believed in what he was doing. He wrote, and he told us about the good things that they were doing in Iraq," said Alida Bouchard, his mother, from the family's new home in Cottonwood, Ariz.
Bouchard's father, John, a longtime Navy serviceman, said his son spoke to them vividly about escorting his commanding officer into Iraqi towns and villages, about talking to community leaders and fulfilling their requests for sanitation pickups and new schools.
"He enjoyed kids especially," John Bouchard said. "And he enjoyed being over there in the land that was of the Bible — Samarra — seeing it firsthand."
Nathan Bouchard was born in 1981 in Dallas. He graduated from Lake Elsinore High School in 1999 and was a starting defensive lineman in his senior year.He surfed, hiked and went mountain biking. Often, Bouchard hiked "in slippers," which were more comfortable for him, said his father, chuckling.Bouchard, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in Ft. Stewart, Ga., also was a devout Christian. He was an active member of The Fold, a Christian youth group in Wildomar. He attended Cornerstone Community Church with his family.Bouchard last saw his parents and siblings in May, when he visited Cottonwood before returning to Iraq. His younger brother, Sean, 21, also is in the Army and was home when the family received news of Nathan's death.A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday at Cornerstone Community Church in Wildomar. The Bouchards said they have received messages of support and condolences from as far away as South Africa, many prompted by their son's letter to the editor.
They said they would always remember Nathan as a positive-thinking, energetic man who did anything he could for friends and family when he saw them unhappy. Bouchard's faith, his parents said, continues to give them strength.
"Nathan was a Christian first and a soldier second," John Bouchard said. "That's our reassurance — our peace that we have — that he was where God wanted him to be."
On a more personal note, I was able to contact Nathan's mom, and received from her Nathans first letter written back in 2003 along with the poem that went with it.
She wrote regarding Nathan, "Nate was on his 2nd tour to Iraq. He was due to be discharged this past May but that was put on hold till this tour was over. I cannot emphasize to you enough how important Jesus was to Nathan. Before he joined the army he attended about 4 Bible Studies I think and after he joined he would attend as many as he could when home on leave. Because he attended so many, most of his friends were Christians. One of his favorite authors was C.S. Lewis. He loved reading his books, not so much his novels, but his books about our Christian faith. Nate loved to share Jesus with all who would listen and would welcome a debate concerning world views and the Bible. He never met a stranger and is remembered by many for his hugs and his contagious smile and his unyielding faith."
Below please is a letter and a poem that Nathan sent to a friend in Savannah, Ga. He asked her to circulate it. She sent it to Nathan's parents, and they in turn sent it out to everyone they knew. The letter has appeared all over the place. I am honored to bring the letter and the poem to you hear…
LETTER TO THE NATION
I am a soldier in the United States Army, at 21 years old, and in Kuwait. I am a 19 D Cavalry Scout with 3/69 Armor attached to Charlie Company in the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division. You ask yourself why. Why are we in the Middle East? Why don't we leave Saddam alone? Why do we even get involved? It is because somebody has to. Now, why us? You may ask, because we're the only ones who can with or without help. Why now? You say, because, as you know, problems do not go away just by closing your eyes or turning your back or burying your head in the sand. You talk of isolationism, let's just keep to ourselves, worry about ourselves, let the world worry abut the world and we'll tend to our own. Well, look where it got the USSR, or China. You must understand that I AM THE WORLD, and YOU ARE THE WORLD, WE ARE THE WORLD. AND this freedom we have was not free. It took people who said enough is enough to stand up for themselves and what is right, even when the rest of the world was against them, and fight for what they believed. And so here we are today. Saturday, February 22, 2003, still defending that freedom which was given to us over two hundred years ago in operation enduring freedom, but we cannot do it if we don't have your support. We are your sons and daughters fighting for this same freedom. So, even as you would support your own sons and daughters in the decisions they make, I pray that you would also support us, too, in the same fashion. And so, I will now leave you with a poem, and remember nothing in this would is free except the unconditional love of God. Thank you.
PFC Nathan Kalani Bouchard
THIS LISTING IS A MEMORIAL CENOTAPH. ACTUAL BURIAL IS ELSEWHERE
Warriors Walk Memorial
Created by: Elizabeth Olmstead
Record added: Jul 14, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14933632