I’m entered into a jade carving contest called “The World Jade Symposium”. The week after my Cousin Nick’s tragic death in Afghanistan, I worked relentlessly on this jade necklace. It is only fitting to dedicate the creation of this necklace in his memory. The necklace will be voted on at the online open house website gallery for the World Jade Symposium contest – Sept 15-30, 2011. The item will also be up for sale after the voting and some of the proceeds will be honorably dedicated to Nick’s family.

Please visit The World Jade Symposiumand vote for any of the talented artists.

 Update: “The Legacy” got 2nd place in The World Jade Symposium! I want to thank everyone out there who voted in the contest whether you voted for “The Legacy” or another work of art.

Below is some information about my cousin Nick.


Funeral Friday, 11:30 at St. Paul Cathedral for SO2 Nicholas Spehar, Navy Seal Team Five, killed in action in Afghanistan.

Spehar, SO2 Nicholas Patrick Naval Special Warfare SEAL TEAM FIVE Special Operator Second Class Nicholas Patrick Spehar was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 19th, 1986. SO2 Spehar grew up in Chisago City, Minnesota, entering the Navy in March of 2007. After completing Navy Boot Camp, SO2 Spehar graduated Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/s) Training and SEAL Qualification Training with Class 267. Upon checking into SEAL Team FIVE, SO2 Spehar deployed to the Philippines in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He earned the coveted position of Honor Man in both Naval Special Warfare Lead Breacher and Naval Special Warfare Sniper School. SO2 Spehar then deployed to Yemen in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and immediately upon his return, volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan.

On August 6, 2011, SO2 Spehar was tragically killed in action while conducting combat operations in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. SO2 Spehar was an exceptional United States Navy SEAL; he was a leader by example, a tireless worker, and an elite warrior. SO2 Spehar had previously been awarded an Army Achievement Medal and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Nicholas led his life with dedication and integrity. He had a deep love for his family and his devotion to his parents and siblings was unparalleled. Nicholas had a deep Catholic faith. Nicholas is survived by his parents, Patrick and Annette, sister Marie (Anthony) Mielke, brothers, Luke and Jacob, and sister Lisa.

Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 19, 2011 at St. Paul Cathedral, 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota. Visitation 4-8 p.m. Thursday at St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church, 13060 Lake Blvd., Lindstrom, Minnesota. Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Mpls. Grandstrand Funeral Home 651-257-4000

Nick’s Funeral