21st TSC Mannheim’s mourns first OIF death

Raphael Eredita
293rd Base Support Battalion

More than 200 Soldiers and friends gathered Nov. 22 in Mannheim to mourn the death of the first 21st Theater Support Command Soldier from Mannheim to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Cole William Larsen was killed Nov. 12 in a vehicle accident in Iraq.

The Mannheim service took place at the Benjamin Franklin Village chapel. In addition to the members of the Mannheim military community, representatives from the German police and Bundeswehr also attended the service.

As a member of the 272nd Military Police, 95th Military Police Battalion, Private Larson was stationed and deployed from Mannheim as a gunner for the 1st Platoon, 3rd Squadron.

“Since their arrival in Iraq more than eight months ago, the 230th MP Company has been consistently exposed to some of the heaviest fighting around Baghdad and Fallujah,” said Maj. Steve Green, 95th MP commander. “It is a testament to their skills and determination that we have not conducted many more memorial ceremonies.” 

Private Larson was killed in Baghdad on the road to Camp Volunteer when his armored support vehicle was clipped by another vehicle, causing it to roll over several times, according to authorities.

Mannheim was the private’s first assignment. He arrived in January, directly from his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he trained to become a 31-B military policeman. Three months after his arrival in Germany, he deployed to Iraq, said Sgt. Brett Browning, his former platoon leader.

A native of Santa Clara, Calif., he was attached to the great outdoors. He loved motorcycles, especially dirt bikes, and tinkering with cars. Private Larsen was a single soldier. He leaves a loving family and fellow comrades with grief and sorrow.

“By all accounts, Private Larsen was a soldier who knew he was contributing to an important mission and was looking out for his fellow soldiers,” said Major Green. “You can’t ask for more than that.”