Corps of cadets to honor three former students killed in Iraq

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2005 – The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will conduct a Pylon dedication ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, April 29, to honor three former Virginia Tech students who lost their lives while serving in the Iraq war.

The ceremony for two U.S. Army casualties and one Marine will be held at the War Memorial Pylons on Alumni Mall near the main entrance to the Blacksburg campus.

The three service members to be honored are:

Army Staff Sgt. Nathaniel J. Nyren, 31, of Reston, Va., who attended Virginia Tech for one and a half years in the early1990s before joining the army. He was killed in Baghdad on Dec. 28, 2004, when a civilian vehicle struck the side of his Humvee, causing it to roll over. A veteran with nine years of active military service, Sgt. Nyren was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division from Ft. Hood, Texas.

Army Specialist Nicholas C. “Nick” Mason, 20, of King George, Va., a Virginia Tech student on military leave of absence from the university, died in the suicide bombing of the U.S. military dining facility at Mosul, Iraq, on Dec. 21, 2004. Mason, a University Studies major, had completed the fall 2002 and spring 2003 semesters at Virginia Tech before being called to duty with the Army National Guard’s 276th Engineer Battalion, headquartered at West Point, Va.

Marine Cpl. Christopher L. Weaver, 24, of Federicksburg, Va., a history major and Virginia Tech Class of 2002 graduate, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack at Hadithah in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on Jan. 26, 2005. Weaver was active in Theta Xi fraternity. He deployed to Iraq with the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, headquartered at Lynchburg, Va.

Participants in the ceremony will include family members of the fallen servicemen along with Maj. Gen. Jerrold P. Allen, commandant of cadets; Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Virginia; university President Charles Steger; university Vice President for Alumni Relations Tom Tillar; and representatives of student alumni associates, representing the class of 2006.

The ceremony will include regimental honors rendered by corps of cadets and unveiling of the three servicemen’s names, which have been engraved on the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) pylon.