Nigel K Olsen
March 4, 2010
Killed while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
|Family: Marine fulfilled childhood dream
The Associated Press
SALEM, Utah — Relatives say a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan fulfilled his dream of serving in the military.
Funeral services for Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen, 21, were held March 13 in Salem. He was killed March 4 when he stepped on a hidden bomb in Helmand province, according to his mother, Kim Olsen.
“He died protecting the rights and freedoms of this great nation,” she said.
Olsen graduated from Mountain View High School in 2007 and enlisted in the Marines a week later. An Eagle Scout, Olsen was always interested in the military and loved to wear fatigues and face paint when he was growing up.
“Nigel has been reassigned, and only a select few Marines get this honor,” said Stacy Hansen, Olsen’s sister. “He knew what he wanted to do at the age of 3. He had a dream, and he lived it to the fullest.”
Olsen was based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and deployed to Afghanistan in October. He was in the same battalion as Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon, 19, of Orem, who was killed March 1 in the same area of Afghanistan.
Olsen’s funeral ended with the congregation singing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” Lining the streets the mile to the cemetery were hundreds of American flags, each with a Boy Scout saluting next to it.
Relatives gathered around the casket and touched the side before it was lowered.
“His life was not lost. It was not taken,” said Olsen’s brother, Jeremy Hampton. “It was given for us. He gave his life for his country.”
In attendance at the funeral were Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
|‘He’s my hero’
The Associated Press
Nigel Olsen’s family remembers that as a young boy, he wanted to play only army games, wear fatigues and put on face paint.
He was shy, but talking about weapons and military history brought him out of his shell. He liked watching his favorite movie, “Top Gun,” so often that his family tried to hide it from him.
“A pretty quiet dude, his eyes would light up and his tone would change” when he spoke of the military, said his brother, Quinn Hess.
Olsen, 21, of Orem, Utah, died March 4 in combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton.
His mother said that at the time of his death, he was serving as a Marine scout, which involved going ahead of his fellow Marines to make a safe path.
Olsen grew up the youngest of 10 children and graduated with honors in 2007 from Mountain View High School in Orem. He was an Eagle Scout with a deep sense of patriotism, said his sister Meghan Olsen.
One week after he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.
“He’s my hero,” said another sister, Sarah Anthony. “I’ll miss him.”
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