Remembering the fallen

A tribute to troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan

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Cody E. Wanken

Killed on April 2, 2008

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - Funeral services were held Thursday for Lance Cpl. Cody Wanken, who friends and family remembered as a dedicated Marine who loved life, football and the military.

Wanken, 20, of Hampton died April 2 after being wounded last September in Iraq.

“He left home having the support of a loving family and friends in his heart,” Maj. Philip Farr told the crowd during services at the Hampton-Dumont High School gymnasium. “He successfully completed boot camp, earning the title of Marine, and once a Marine, always a Marine. This week our Marine family has brought him home.”

Wanken was a machine gunner in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He joined the Marines after graduating from Hampton-Dumont High School in January 2006.

He was in the third month of a seven-month deployment in Iraq when he was wounded and returned to Camp Pendleton in San Diego. Wanken underwent several surgeries and appeared to be recovering.

Marine officials are investigating his death and have not released details about how he died. Wanken’s family told the Globe Gazette of Mason City that his death was related to eye, ear and other facial injuries he received in Iraq.

Jerry Shafrath, Wanken’s former high school coach, said he spoke with the Marine a couple weeks before his death.

“He told me that more than anything he wanted to get back to his unit ... to give other guys hope for recovery,” Shafrath said. “I told him to keep pressing towards his goal. He had all the things it took to be a good Marine: commitment, honor and courage.”

After the services, Wanken was buried at the Glenwood Cemetery in Goldfield.

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