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Cole E Spencer


The Army said on Tuesday that Private Cole Spencer of Gays was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Saturday. According to the official Web site of the Multi-National Corps in Iraq, Spencer was part of a patrol that was attacked.

“Three Task Force Marne soldiers were killed and one was wounded when their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad.”

The Department of Defense Web site said the soldiers died in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their vehicle was struck with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire during combat operations. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Also killed were Sergeant Glenn D. Hicks Jr., 24, of College Station, Texas; and Private First Class Jay Ornsby-Adkins, 21, of Ione, Calif.

Spencer’s family also issued a brief statement Tuesday through the office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. The statement, e-mailed to media, said:

“Army Private Cole Spencer of Gays, Illinois, was killed Saturday, April 28, 2007, in Iraq. He was 21 years old. Private Spencer attended Heritage Baptist Academy. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials are made to the school in Private Spencer’s name. Private Spencer is survived by his parents Mark and Candy Spencer and his brother Brian. The family requests that members of the media respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

According to a family friend, Spencer had been in Iraq about a month.

Cole E. Spencer was in and out of high school and never graduated. He did, however, complete his GED. According to teacher Sally Hooten, he was happier after he returned from basic training. He thought people were proud of him and that made him feel good, Hooten said. I felt he had grown up immensely proud that he found something he truly loved.

Private Josh Gage, who attended his friend’s funeral, said Spencer was the type of person who rarely met a stranger. He was friendly, outgoing, not afraid to talk to anyone and not afraid to be their friend, Gage said. It’s a shame we had to lose him.

Cindy Guin said Spencer and her son attended kindergarten together. My son was upset the most, Guin said. He said Cole was a really nice kid. He should be honored in every sense.

Janie Ross remembered Spencer as a nice person who was smitten by the Army and outdoors. He was easy to get along with, Ross said.


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