Nemelka, the youngest of four children, enlisted in the Army in October 2008, and was carrying on a tradition of military service that ran deep in his family.
He was an Eagle Scout from Utah and signed up to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army: defuse bombs. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, and was preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan.
Nemelka’s parents addressed a company formation shortly after his death and told his fellow soldiers how proud they were of their son, his company commander said. His platoon leader said Nemelka was always eager to share conversation, and his team leader said he was an athlete and the kind of guy who knew how to get a laugh just by acting silly.
Nemelka planned to propose to his girlfriend, Kristen, before deploying, relatives said. Nemelka was 19 at the time of his death.