LCPL Nicklas J. Palmer - 1st Marine Division
Great Falls, Montana native Marine Lance Cpl. Nicklas “Nick” J. Palmer, 19, of Leadville, Colo., died of a gun-shot wound Dec. 16 in Fallujah, Iraq.
Nick, as he was known, was born Feb. 3, 1987, in Great Falls, to Brad and Rachele(Hackler) Palmer. He moved with his family to Thornton, CO., where he went to school at Riverdale Elementary and later Stuckey Elementary. In 1995, they moved to Leadville, CO., where Nick graduated from Lake County High School in 2005.
Nick enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot in August 2005. He graduated from boot camp in November 2005 and continued his training at Camp LeJeune, N.C., for four months. He was then assigned to Camp Pendleton, Calif., before departing to Iraq in July 2006.
Palmer liked rock climbing, camping, fishing and working on cars with his father. He also trained hard for the Marines. Already fit from time spent in the weight room in high school and playing football, he took it up a notch.
He lived in the weight room, said his mother,Rachele. He would toss 30 to 40 pound weights in his backpack and run with that. It was mind boggling to see. He wanted to be fit all year round.
His father was offensive and defense line coach for the high school football team and coached his son, who played as both an offensive and defensive lineman. Being my son, he got picked on the most, but he also stepped up to the challenge the most, the father recalled.
Nick loved to play football, lettering four years for the LCHS Varsity program. He enjoyed target and skeet shooting. When he wasn’t in the weight room at the high school, he could be found hanging out with his many friends “checking to see who was in town.” Nick also had fun camping and fishing.
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