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Cpl. Toby R. Olsen View/Sign Guest Book
Cpl. Toby R. Olsen

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Age:   28
Hometown: Manchester, NH
Date of Death: 1/20/2007
Incident Location: Karmah, Iraq
 
Branch of Military:   Army
Rank: Cpl.
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team
Unit's Base: Fort Richardson, Alaska

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) A soldier from Manchester was killed during the weekend in a roadside bombing in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.
Army Spc. Toby Olsen, 28, was killed Saturday in Karma, Iraq, along with three other soldiers, the department said. A bomb went off near their Humvee. The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in Fort Richardson, Alaska. The Defense Department said Olsen lived in Manchester, but relatives said his ties were in Hawaii, where he grew up and graduated high school.
His parents, James and Lis Olsen, live in Germany, where James Olsen is an Army colonel and eye doctor. His grandparents, John and Hiroko Olsen, live in Wahiawa, Hawaii.
An uncle, Robert Olsen of Mililani, Hawaii, said Olsen was born in Maryland and moved to Hawaii around 1991.
"Hawaii was his home," Robert Olsen told The Honolulu Advertiser. Olsen earned an art degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, said another uncle, Larry Beil of San Francisco.
"He was artistic, so gifted in drawing," Beil said. "The guy could draw like you wouldn't believe. He wanted to fulfill his military duty and become an art teacher."
While visiting his parents in Germany during Christmas leave and before he returned to Iraq, Toby Olsen wrote some thoughts:
"I am an artist, I strive to create and enjoy almost nothing more than to sit having all the time and freedom in the world and create," Olsen wrote. "I hit a point in life though, where my art wasn't fulfilling anymore, it felt empty." So, with a feeling that he had too much freedom, he wrote, he joined the Army. "Now my time is run by the minute, there is almost no room for creativity. I now conform to ideas instead of imagine, and destroy instead of create," he wrote. "The contrast thus far has led to a strong resurgence of my former drives and desire to create as well as a newfound level of respect for the freedoms I once had.
"Hope I live long enough to enjoy them again."
Source: Associated Press
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