Cpl. Robert Nicklyn's medals and badges

A Mid-Michigan family is finally receiving medals and badges of a veteran who gave his life fighting for our country.

The medals merely paint a picture of the man who earned them while fighting in Vietnam.

That man was Cpl. Robert Nicklyn who was born and raised in Saginaw.

White Pine Middle School, formerly known as Douglas MacArthur High School, was where Cpl. Robert Nicklyn attended and graduated from back in 1968, right before he was drafted into the service.

Michael Gardyko, Nicklyn’s classmate, said last year the class of 1968 from Douglas MacArthur High School honored all of the school’s military veterans who served in Vietnam.

But at the time, they had not yet received Nicklyn’s medals.

On Saturday, May 11, Nicklyn’s family was finally presented with the merits he deserved.

“He had an absolute great sense of humor,” said Tony Dooley, Nicklyn’s sergeant and friend.

Dooley said together the two formed an unbreakable bond while fighting together overseas.

Sadly, he was also the last person to ever see him alive.

“He couldn’t speak, he got shot through the throat and I radioed in for the medivacs and I grabbed him on the shoulder and I told him ‘you just hang in there.’ He passed away with my arm on his shoulder, and that was the last time I saw him,” Dooley said.

Since that day, Dooley has never once forgotten the man he said could make him laugh, even in their darkest hour.

He said no one deserved these honors more than his friend.

“He knew what we were trying to do when the seriousness needed to be there, and I don’t think I would’ve wanted anybody else to be my radio operator,” Dooley said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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