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Michael I Nance Beacon College mourns the death of a paratrooper and former student who was killed last month in a combat-related incident in southern Afghanistan.

Army Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Glenwood, IL was killed by an Afghan solider who opened fire on him and another paratrooper. Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, also died from wounds sustained in the attack.

Nance attended the Cove School. The K-12 school in Northbrook, IL serves students with complex learning disabilities. Later, he briefly attended Beacon College for the 2015 spring and fall semesters.

His heart, however, always beat for soldiering.
“It had always been a lifelong dream,” Nance’s great-uncle Kenon Forest told The Chicago Sun-Times.

That dream came true in 2017 when he joined the Army. Nance was assigned to 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Based at Fort Bragg, NC. The airborne infantry division specializes in joint parachute forcible entry operations and Nance supported the NATO-led Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

In text messages shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, his mother, Shawn Gregoire, wrote, “I want people to know that he was loved, and he died doing what he loved. … He wanted to be in Special Forces in the Army and be a lifer.”

He died Monday, July 29, 2019, in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province less than three weeks after he was deployed.  Like the superheroes who populate the Marvel movies his family say he loved, Nance died a hero.

“These young men were true all Americans and embodied the qualities of selfless service and courage as they answered our nation’s call to deploy to Afghanistan,” Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said in a statement.

Nance’s military awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.