Finding Marine Private Nolen Ryan Hutchings - FOX Carolina 21

Finding Marine Private Nolen Ryan Hutchings

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Pfc. Nolen Ryan Hutchings Pfc. Nolen Ryan Hutchings
Schellhaas Family (Ryan Elizabeth Ward Photography) Schellhaas Family (Ryan Elizabeth Ward Photography)

In March of 2003 Marine Private First Class Nolen Ryan Hutchings was killed in an air strike but for days no one could find his remains. But a determined group of Marines refused to leave one of their own behind.

Hutchings, from Boiling Springs, was one of the first South Carolina casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In a book set to be released June 1 called 15 Years of Warthe story of the search for Hutchings is told.

Kristine Schellhaas wrote the book based on the experiences of her husband Marine Major Ross Schellhaas.

Schellhaas said her husband's unit joined the fighting in Nasiriyah just after the airstrike that killed Hutchings.

"For him, being faced with a situation where a Marine was killed and was just out there didn't sit well with him," Schellhaas said.

Schellhaas said her husband then received a tip from a local about the possible whereabouts of Hutching's remains and, at great risk, he and his fellow Marines decided to act.

"They weren't sure what to think," Schellhaas said. "Was it an ambush? Or had they found someone."

In the middle of the battle, Schellhaas said her husband and his Marines found Hutchings and brought him out from behind enemy lines.

"It was something that rocked him (Maj. Schellhaas) to his core, and gave him his reason for being there," said Schellhaas.

After the rescue, Hutchings was buried with full military honors in his hometown. High School friend and fellow Marine Jessica Solis was part of the rifle squad that honored him at his funeral.

"If gave me a sense of peace that he is here," Solis said. "That he is here watching over us in Boiling Springs."

Hutching's friends, family, and the Marines that rescued him ask that everyone take time this Memorial Day to remember Hutchings and all of the other men and women that have laid down their lives in the line of service.

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