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  • One of the biggest influences and inspirations in my life has been my uncle Mark. My uncle was a strong man who accomplished many things. I remember when I was little, I would listen to my mom tell stories of the things he had done. I remember sitting there listening to these stories hanging on every word while the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

    Something that always stood out to me was the fact that my uncle would stand up for himself and those he cared about at all times, no matter the consequences. One time after breaking up a party and sending people home before they got in trouble, my uncle was called a son-of-a-you know what. This upset my uncle because the man was showing complete disrespect for my grandma and my uncle. Mark ended up beating the guy up and going to jail. I always thought that was really cool, even though he went to jail. This story taught me that sometimes you need to do what’s necessary, even if it means getting in trouble.

    My uncle Mark inspired my high school sporting career. My uncle was a stand-out athlete at Pine Ridge High School. Mark was the first person to step on the podium at the state tournament from Pine Ridge High School, placing fourth. This was a huge inspiration for me because I wrestle. I remember thinking before matches, especially ones that I knew would be tough, of my uncle and always found many inspirations.

    Mark Nichols passed away at age 18 while enlisted in the army. He was stationed at Hawaii, where a wave drowned him. A part of me always despised that fact, choosing rather to believe that he is out there in disguise watching over my family. My uncle is the greatest man I’ve never known.
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