He came out of the womb with camo on. It was something that was just part of him growing up. I have a picture of him at 5 years old wearing a camouflage helmet with a toy gun in his hand.
— Christi Larsen, mother
In a visit home shortly before his death, Cole described a near-miss when an improvised bomb exploded in front of his unit's vehicle. And he told of how he and a team leader foiled an attempted kidnapping and saved the lives of two Iraqi policemen.
California's War Dead
is the Los Angeles Times' collection of stories about the 743 California servicemembers and 492 others based in California
who died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, San Diego
Landon L. Jones, 35, Lompoc
Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, Aurora, Ore.
Robert E. Thomas Jr., 24, Fontana
Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, Santa Maria
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