NRV ministry helps escort D-Day vet to final rest

Faith Ryders POW-MIA flag presentationBy MELINDA WILLIAMS


A 90-year-old D-Day veteran is now at rest in his native Pennsylvania thanks to a nine-state journey that was escorted through Virginia by a member of Faith Ryders, a New River Valley motorcycle ministry.

Eddie Wright of Fairlawn, Faith Ryders founder and elder, said he had the honor of being able to help escort the body of John H. Nichols and members of Nichols’ family as they passed through the Commonwealth Saturday, Oct. 12. Wright joined fellow members of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) at the Virginia/North Carolina line and escorted the procession to Princeton, W.Va.

A World War II Army veteran and member of the 101st Airborne Division, Nichols was injured while parachuting into Normandy during the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion. He received the Purple Heart, in addition to “many other medals, awards and citations,” according to Wright.

Nichols died Sept. 15 in Tampa, Fla. The PGR escort started in Diamond, Miss. His son, Chuck, a PGR member and veteran, requested the escort to fulfill his father’s wishes to be laid to rest in Pennsylvania. The escort started Oct. 10 at the son’s home in Diamond, Miss., and passed through Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, before ending in Kennerdell, Pa., Oct. 13.

Chuck Nichols’ brother, Jack, a veteran of the Army’s 173rd Airborne Division, and his sister and brother-in-law, Deb and David Copolillo, joined the escort in Florida.



2 Responses to NRV ministry helps escort D-Day vet to final rest

  1. Lola

    October 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Thank God for our military and all they do.

  2. faye wright

    October 19, 2013 at 2:05 am

    It is so refreshing to open the news and find a article like this. Patriotism shown for our veterans is exactly nice to see after what our country was shown for the last 16 DAYS. I had already heard this story from my brother in law Eddie Wright who left his house as soon as he saw the order that this was occurring. Eddie has a wife at home who is recovering from a heart surgery and numerous other issues. This would be the first time he was going to be leaving her at home for that long by herself. She wouldn’t have it any other way and talked him into going. This was one of those days it rained pretty much all day. A long story short Eddie was there, met the group, took them as far as the plan where they would meet more cyclist and decided at that point he would take them all the way. He flew an American flag and a POW flag with great pride that he has done numerous times with the rest of his group from his area here in Radford. Learn more about what the Faithryders do, it will make you proud also. Their sight is on the computer Thank you Eddie for your dedication and love you show for our fellow men, anybody in need, and the list goes on. God is his leader and Eddie gives him the credit first and formost.

    Faye Wright

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