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SALEM -- Funeral services were held Saturday for a Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan last week.
Lance Cpl. Nigel Kenton Olsen, 21, of Salem, died during combat operations in the dangerous Helmand Province on March 4.
Hundreds of residents, some who were not acquainted with Olsen, attended his funeral. Those who did know him say he was strong and honest, yet a shy and humble man who would have been embarrassed about all the attention.
The military was a significant part of Olsen's childhood.
"He wanted to do this from the time he was 3 years old," Bishop Bret MacCabe said Saturday. "He came to this world knowing this was his calling in life."
Olsen had drawings of military airplanes, famous military scenes, and visits to an aircraft carrier. Now, his military adventure includes a military funeral.
His brother, Jeremy Hampton, said, "I remember he loved everything to do with serving his country."
Almost as soon as the community of Salem learned Olsen had been killed, American flags began appearing.
Bishop MacCabe explained, "This community loves the Olsens. There's no two ways about that."
The community showed support for family members as they arrived at the church Saturday to say goodbye.
"It's a family that has only lived here in this area for two or three years," resident Greg Reece said, "but we attach and we hold onto our own. They become a part of the community almost instantly."
Hampton said, "We're just overwhelmed by the love that has been shown to the family, and we're very grateful for it."
The family may be grateful to the community, but community members say they're even more grateful for everything Olsen did for them.
"They just gave the ultimate sacrifice," Matt Munk said.
Olsen, who graduated from Orem's Mountain View High School in 2007, died three days after Lance Cpl. Carlos Aragon was killed in Afghanistan. Aragon was in the same Marine battalion as Olsen and also graduated from Mountain View High School, one year after Olsen.
The school has been honoring, and plans to continue honoring, both of its former students.