Monday, April 02, 2007

Daniel Olsen reported killed in Iraq

According to his parents, a U.S. Marine from Eagan is the latest Minnesota casualty of the war in Iraq. Lance Corporal Daniel Olsen, 20, died Sunday in Anbar Province.

Gwen Olsen got the news Monday morning from two U.S. Marines, an Eagan Police Officer and Chaplain.

"It was tough," said Gwen Olsen.

Daniel Olsen had just turned 20 and enlisted in the Marines on his eighteenth birthday on March 15, 2005. Olsen went on to graduate from Eagan High School.

Like his two sisters, he was a member of the band's drum line. He immediately headed for San Diego, Calif. to train to be a Marine.

"He was doing what he wanted to do," said Wayne Olsen, Daniel's father.

According to Wayne Olsen, his son was on patrol somewhere around Fallujah, in the Anbar Province of Iraq. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Fox Company was on the move.

"He was shot in the back with small arms fire," said Wayne Olsen.

"He was wearing body armor on the front, back, and side, and a helmet," added Gwen Olsen. She said she did not know how the bullet managed to strike her son.

The Marines have only announced that one of their sailors died Sunday in a "non-combat related incident." They have not released the name of that sailor, pending family notification.

Daniel Olsen is the 56th person with strong Minnesota ties to die in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He first was deployed on January 28, 2007. His parents last spoke with him by telephone last weekend.

"He seemed tired," said Wayne Olsen. "But he was positive and upbeat" about the work he was doing in Iraq.

All day friends and family members have been visiting the Gwen and Wayne Olsen at their home in Eagan. They are proud of their son and still in shock, that he is gone.

Read the rest at WCCO 4