Teacher: Fallen soldier was 'perfect fit for the military'

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- A soldier from Gardiner, Ore., was killed Nov. 9 while on patrol in Afghanistan, according to the US Department of Defense.

Capt. James Nehl, 37, graduated from Reedsport High School. His former classmate and teachers say he made the perfect soldier.

According to his high school teacher, Jim Wells, it's what Nehl wanted to do all along.

"Quiet guy, sincere, not a typical teenager, what you would say, very disciplined. I think he was living his dream and unfortunately died his dream. He wanted to be an army ranger," Wells said.

Nehl liked to hunt and fish. He was on the football, track and swimming teams, and in the National Honor Society.

Keith Tymchuk, another of Nehl's former teachers, said he didn't stand out from other students, but that's what made him such a perfect soldier.

"It speaks about James in that he was quiet and didn't call attention to himself and was just one of those people who wanted to do what was right," said Tymchuk.

Capt. Nehl was killed while fighting for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Wells said he was the "perfect fit for the military. Athletic, disciplined, he's the kind of guy you want on your side."

While he didn't stand out at school, a classmate said he stood out among his friends.

"Quiet confidence, that's the best way to describe him. An enemy of no one and a friend of everybody. He was a good man and even back then I knew he would do good things," said Ron Dukovich.