Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Kenneth E Cochran

Wilder, Idaho

January 15, 2012

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
20 Marine L/Cpl

9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force

Okinawa, Japan

 Killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 

From KHQ Q6 TV khq.com 01/18/12:

Idaho Family Mourns Death Of 20-Year-Old Marine
Posted: Jan 18, 2012 8:15 AM PST
Updated: Jan 18, 2012 8:30 AM PST
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The family of an Idaho soldier killed during combat in Afghanistan says he and his "bubbly personality" will be greatly missed by those who knew him.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cochran, of Wilder, died Sunday in Helmand province. He was killed during combat operations along with 22-year-old Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman, of Tulsa, Okla. Military officials didn't detail how the Marines died.

Cochran's family issued a statement Tuesday, saying he is survived by his father George Cochran, a former Marine, and his mother, U.S. Army Captain Julia Cochran. He also had two sisters and a brother. Cochran graduated from Parma High School in 2010.

He was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan.

From KTVB ktvb.com 01/29/12:

Community remembers fallen hero
by Andrea Lutz
Posted on January 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM
Updated Monday, Jan 30 at 3:07 PM

PARMA, Idaho -- A community gathered Sunday to mourn but also remember a local hero.

Marine Lance Corporal Kenneth Cochran was laid to rest at just 20 years of age. He died while serving overseas in Afghanistan. 

Community members, some who knew Lance Corporal Kenneth Cochran and some that didn't, packed into the Parma High school gymnasium for his funeral. 

Brian Sowle lives in Caldwell. He said he didn’t know Cochran, but came to the funeral just because he wanted to honor Cochran.
“Well, I came here to support a fallen hero,” he said. 

Arlen and Lisa Strauch are friends of the Cochran family and traveled from Nyssa. 

“It's just really upsetting to lose a young man in the community,” they said. 

“I was a teacher here at Parma High School," said Tony Collis as he was walked into the gym. "Kenny was one of my favorite students. Ken was a very compassionate young man. He would do anything for anyone."

Cochran graduated from Parma High School in 2010. 

A Marine Honor Guard carried his body inside the gym, where hundreds waited to say their goodbyes. 

“Father, we ask that this time would be a constant reminder to us that freedom must be bought with the greatest of price,” said Reverend Dale Larson. 

Those close to him said Cochran was a religious and deeply passionate person. He loved to write poems, short stories and letters. So his parents wrote back. Larson read some of the letters aloud during the Sunday service. 

“As I went over Kenneth's written words it was abundantly clear that the theme of honor, freedom and responsibility to stand up for those unable to defend themselves was a hallmark of Kenneth's attitude toward life,” Larson read aloud from a letter written by Cochran’s mother. 

“Thank you for growing up into such a noble young man," Larson read from a letter written by Cochran’s father. "For bringing such honor to yourself, this family, the United States Marine Corps and this country. I will see you on the other side, son.” 

Coming from a military family, Cochran always wanted to become a Marine. He was deployed to Afghanistan in November of 2011 and he died overseas January 15. 

The Department of Defense has not released the specific details of what happened to Cochran. Officials said he was involved in combat and that the incident is under investigation.

From Idaho Press-Tribune idahopress.com 01/30/12:

Wilder Marine Kenneth Cochran found joy in helping others
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 1:09 am | Updated: 1:14 am, Mon Jan 30, 2012.
© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune
PARMA — Born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, Kenny Cochran spent his first days in a neonatal unit fighting to survive. For the next 20 years, he didn’t take a moment for granted.
“Live life every second, because every second counts,” Kenny wrote for an assignment at Parma High School on his life goals.
He also wrote that the country he’d most like to visit was Afghanistan. He wanted to be a Marine, and he thought Afghanistan was a place where he could test his body and soul, where he could learn to fight and bring honor to himself and his country.
About 450 people gathered in the Parma High School gymnasium Sunday to remember Kenny. The Marine from Wilder died in Afghanistan Jan. 15 at age 20.
In a written statement, Kenny’s mother, Julia, remembered her son as always on the move. As a child, he zoomed around on a red electric Jeep. Later, he graduated to a Model A pickup go-kart his father built, then a motor bike and finally a Camaro.
Motoring around, he always shone an ebullient smile, she said.
His uncle, Jim Howell, recalled Kenny as an energetic boy running wild with his brother and sisters. After the others grew tired, Kenny would keep playing, alone. He entertained himself with a game: he would knock on a door then jump out of the doorway and laugh out loud, pretending to surprise himself, Howell remembered.
As he grew, Kenny harnessed his energy.
At 13, he decided to become a Marine like his father, George. But he doubted the Marines would take him, so he endeavored to become stronger and smarter. He trained with weights and studied from a book of vocabulary words he kept in his pocket.
Kenny also developed a love for the written word. He had a hard time talking about his beliefs — honor, freedom and responsibility — so he spent endless hours creating stories, poems and essays, expressing himself through writing.
“His ideals came from an earlier era of chivalry,” his mother said. “He would have made an exceptional knight during the early Crusades.”
His pastor, Dale Larson, remembered sitting in his pickup truck one day when Kenny approached him and started a conversation. The Parma High graduate seemed so mature and spoke so eloquently about matters of faith that Larson was awestruck.
Kenny was concerned about people acting selfishly when there’s so much good work to be done in the world, Larson said. He believed that life is about helping others.
“I watched him walk away and thought, there is a good man. He is a good man,” Larson said.
Kenny also had a mischievous side.
His uncle recalled going over to the Cochrans’ home one day, and seeing a police cruiser outside. Kenny and his brother, Geo, had convinced a neighbor girl that a gorilla was rumbling around in their basement. The frightened girl believed their story and called her mother.
The girl convinced her mother, and the mother convinced the police, Kenny explained to his uncle with a satisfied grin.
Another time, Kenny visited his uncle’s house, which was under construction. After writing his favorite Bible verse, Psalm 23, on a beam, Kenny climbed up into the unfinished rafters and began walking around.
His uncle looked up and expressed concern for his nephew’s safety.
“He told me, ‘I’m going to be a Marine. If I fell off, I wouldn’t be a very good Marine.’ I had to let Kenny go. I had to let him be his own person,” Jim Howell said.
The Cochran family has a legacy of military service. Kenny’s mother, Julia, is an Army captain on active reserve, his father, George, is a retired Marine, and his older sister, Joyce, is an Army specialist.
Joyce Cochran was also serving in Afghanistan when Kenny was there. About a week before he died, they spent time together.
Kenny showed her around his base and introduced her to his fellow Marines. He was happy to be with his sister and proud to be in Afghanistan following his life’s dreams.
“He died wearing his Marine uniform. He was so proud of it. I can be happy knowing he will be in it until the end of time,” Joyce said.

From Idaho Statesman idahostatesman.com 01/28/12:

Remains of Idaho Marine return home
By KATHLEEN KRELLER - Idaho Statesman
Published: 01/28/12
BOISE, Idaho — Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cochran dreamed of "going to the top" in his military career; to inspire people.

Mostly, though, the Wilder Marine believed in friendship, said his sister Michael Cochran, 19.

Kenneth Cochran, 20, was one of two Marines who died January 15 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The incident is under investigation.

Cochran is at least the 61st Idahoan to die since the United States launched military actions after Sept. 11, 2001.

He was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Okinawa, Japan.

"People would describe him as compassionate, which is why so many people were surprised when he became a Marine," said Michael Cochran. "He was big, and it was his dream."

And he had the example of both his parents and sister, who serve or have served in the armed forces. His father, George Cochran, is a former Marine. His mother is Julia Cochran, a U.S. Army Captain.

"He grew up hearing stories about my dad," Cochran said. "Kenny's dream was to become a Marine."

Kenneth Cochran's body was returned to Idaho Saturday. He was met by his family, and a group of fellow Marines.

They encircled his casket, pausing for a prayer and a moment of reflection.

Those gathered on the tarmac at Boise's Gowen Field remained silent while Cochran's body was handed over to his family.

Earlier Saturday his younger sister paused to remember her brother.

"He was an old man trapped in a young man's body," Michael Cochran said.

She remembered her brother wowing his elementary school classmates with a little robot he had constructed with his dad.

That experience, of welding and crafting, helped lead him to his career as a "utilities guy" for the Marines, Michael Cochran said.

Even with his love for the Marine Corps and his comrades, his family always came first.

They would often chat and keep in touch on Skype and over the internet while he was deployed.

For a time, he got to serve in the same area with his older sister Joyce Cochran, a U.S. Army Combat Medic Specialist.

Michael Cochran recalled a time when the two of them - just a year apart in age - were having a raucous fight, as siblings do.

"It wasn't 20 minutes later he came over and said 'I love you. Sorry,'" Michael Cochran said. "He was a very special guy and he will be remembered."

The family will hold a funeral for Kenneth Cochran at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the Parma High School Gym. Interment is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

From CDA Press cdapress.com 01/27/12:

Flags to be lowered Monday for Idaho Marine
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 9:29 am | Updated: 9:57 am, Fri Jan 27, 2012.
Flags will be lowered to half-staff from dawn to dusk Monday at all state-owned buildings in Idaho.
Governor Otter has ordered the flags lowered in honor of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cochran, 20, from Wilder.
Cochran was killed January 15 in Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Okinawa, Japan. Cochran will be laid to rest Monday at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery, Boise.
Otter and First Lady Lori Otter will be attending funeral services planned Sunday in Parma.
The Idaho Statesman reports Cochran is at least the 61st Idahoan to die since the United States launched military actions after Sept. 11, 2001.

Pendleton, Okinawa Marines die in Afghanistan

Staff report

Two Marines were killed Sunday in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.

Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman and Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran died in combat in Helmand province, Pentagon officials said in a news release issued Tuesday. It’s not immediately clear if their deaths are related.

Bateman, 22, of Tulsa, Okla., was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. An infantryman, he was on his first combat deployment.

Cochran, 20, of Wilder, Idaho, was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, out of Okinawa, Japan. He was a water support technician.

Marines with 2/4 have been operating in the southern part of Musa Qala, according Lt. Col. Bill Vivian, the battalion’s commander, who posted a message Saturday on the unit’s Facebook page.

Earlier this month they launched Operation Double Check, aimed at booting Taliban fighters from the area, which he referred to as “contested terrain.”

The enemy, he said in his message, “doesn’t want to let it go.”

Vivian said 2/4 is scheduled to be replaced in March by Camp Pendleton’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. Ninth ESB has been in theater only since late-November.

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