Boot camp fund-raiser to honor a brother and fallen soldier

Liam Nevins, a Special Forces Green Beret, died Sept. 21.
Liam Nevins, a Special Forces Green Beret, died Sept. 21.
Posted: November 17, 2013

PHOENIXVILLE Growing up in Montgomery County, Liam Nevins loved adventure. He ran around with toy guns, built tree forts, and once commandeered a golf cart with his sister, Raven Henin.

As a high school student in Bucks County, Nevins enlisted in the Army under the Delayed Entry Program.

As a Special Forces Green Beret, Nevins sometimes navigated the rugged terrain of Afghanistan on dirt bikes with a smile, which is why his sisters called him "Bond," after the fictional secret agent.

On Sept. 21, Nevins, 32, was killed in a small-arms attack in Paktia province while on his fifth deployment.

Through the pain, Nevins' relatives and friends are committed to keeping his memory alive. On Sunday in Chester County, they will host a fitness boot camp fund-raiser in his name.

"I have always felt like a mother hen to him, and knowing that I will never see him again has left me with a huge hole," Henin said in an e-mail. "It is strange to say, but I feel like I now need to figure out who I am again without my little brother."

Carolyn Grashof, founder of FitBody Personal Training, is holding the FitBody Memorial Boot Camp fund-raiser from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at Charlestown Park in Phoenixville.

The event will benefit the Special Forces Charitable Trust, a nonprofit that provides personalized services to Green Berets and their families.

"I feel like it's a great cause," Grashof said. "We forget about our military until it's someone you know. They gave their life for what we have - freedom."

Henin, described by others as a "girl version of Liam," has been enlisted in Grashof's boot camp classes for the last year. When Grashof learned of Nevins' death, she and the boot campers asked Henin whether they could honor Nevins and raise donations for a charity of the family's choice.

"I am honored and humbled that she has decided to honor my brother and his fellow soldiers with this event," said Henin, who lives in Phoenixville. "This event will help us to give thanks and pay it forward to other Special Forces families."

Nevins grew up in New Hampshire with his parents and two sisters. In 1994, the family moved to Pennsylvania. Nevins attended Owen J. Roberts Middle School in Pottstown and graduated from Bristol Borough High School in 2000, his family said.

He entered the Army after graduation and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nevins moved to Denver in 2006 after leaving active-duty service.

He enlisted in the Colorado Army National Guard in May 2009, which opened the door to his becoming a Special Forces communications sergeant in 2011, according to the Army Special Forces Command. Nevins was assigned to Company B, Fifth Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Nevins received multiple service awards over the years, including a Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, according to the military.

In memory of Nevins, Grashof said, those who cannot attend the boot camp fund-raiser are invited to make a tax-deductible donation at SpecialForcesCharitableTrust.org.

"He loved the people of Afghanistan," Henin said of her brother, "and truly fought this war to help them build a brighter future."


sabdur-rahman@

phillynews.com

610-313-8112 @sabdurr

|
|
|
|
|