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John T. Olson Obituary

John T. Olson sent his parents a letter from Iraq that arrived in the mail the same day three Marines came to their door to tell them their son was dead. "He was always telling his mother not to worry," said Marla White, a friend of the family. Olson, 21, of the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Ill., was killed during hostile action on Feb. 21. His unit was stationed at Camp Lejeune. White said Olson was close to his father, mother and 16-year-old sister. "They were always together," she said. "It's heart wrenching." White said Olson saw his mission in Iraq as a job that had to be done. When he returned home on leave, dressed in his Marine uniform, he was embarrassed when people came up to him and thanked him for his military service. White said John and Diana Olson were concerned for their son when he recently returned to Iraq for his third tour. "The family was feeling very nervous," White said. "How many times can you be lucky?"
Published online on 2/23/2005.