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Marine Sgt. Justin M. Hansen

Died July 24, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


Marine Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, 26, of Traverse City, Mich., died July 24 in Badghis province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Northern Michigan Marine sergeant dies in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A Marine sergeant from northern lower Michigan has been killed in combat in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. It was his second combat tour there, his father said.

Justin M. Hansen, 26, of Traverse City was killed Tuesday in combat in Badghis province, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday night. He was part of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Hansen was a 2003 graduate of Kingsley High School, where he played football. His father, Rick Hansen of Williamsburg, said that along with two tours of duty in Afghanistan, his son also served in combat in Iraq.

Hansen's father said his son was no stranger to the insurgents that U.S. forces faced.

"I said, 'Do you get real close to these guys — the enemy?' And he said, 'Oh yeah. Someday we'll sit down in a corner and we'll talk about it,'" he told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. "That day never came."

Lifelong friend Jon Walton said Justin Hansen was "always full of energy, always up for something new."

"And he was the most committed person I've ever met," Walton said. "Whatever he did, he did 110 percent."

Amanda Herrick, who graduated from Kingsley High a year before Hansen, said his loss was being strongly felt.

"We are still a small community. Everybody knows everybody," Herrick said.

Kingsley is about 12 miles south-southeast of Traverse City.

Remains of Michigan Marine return from Afghanistan

The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The remains of a Marine sergeant from northern lower Michigan who was killed in Afghanistan are being returned to the United States, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Twenty-six-year-old Justin M. Hansen of Traverse City was killed Tuesday in combat in Badghis province. He was part of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The military said it expected Hansen's remains to arrive Thursday night at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Hansen joined the Marines in 2005, served a combat tour in Iraq and was on his second posting to Afghanistan.

He was a 2003 graduate of Kingsley High School, where he played football.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle said funeral plans were incomplete Thursday.

Services set for Marine from northern Michigan

The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Services are planned for this weekend for a Marine sergeant from Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula who was killed in Afghanistan.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports visitation for 26-year-old Justin M. Hansen of Traverse City will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kingsley High School, followed by a 1 p.m. service.

The military says Hansen was killed July 24 in combat in Badghis province. He was part of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Hansen joined the Marines in 2005, served a combat tour in Iraq and was on his second posting to Afghanistan. He was a 2003 graduate of Kingsley High School, where he played football.

Flags ordered lowered Friday for Marine from Michigan

By The Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags lowered Friday for a Marine sergeant from Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula who was killed in Afghanistan.

Snyder issued the order Wednesday honoring 26-year-old Justin M. Hansen of Traverse City. The governor said in a statement Hansen "will long be remembered for his sacrifice."

The military said Hansen was killed July 24 in combat in Badghis province. He was part of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Visitation for Hansen will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kingsley High School, followed by a 1 p.m. service.

Hansen joined the Marines in 2005, served a combat tour in Iraq and was on his second posting to Afghanistan. He was a 2003 graduate of Kingsley High School, where he played football.


Mich. school will retire Marine’s jersey number

The Associated Press

KINGSLEY, Mich. — A northern Michigan high school will retire the football jersey number of a 2003 graduate killed in Afghanistan.

Justin Hansen was No. 54 for the Kingsley Stags, who finished 8-2 during his senior season. Hundreds of people recently attended his funeral at the school near Traverse City.

Hansen, a sergeant in the Marines, was killed in July in Afghanistan.

"He was the first in his special forces class out of 60 Marines," Kingsley High Principal Mike Moran told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. "He was just unreal — an amazing person, soldier, American hero."

A ceremony retiring Hansen's number will be held Friday when the Stags open the season against Traverse City St. Francis. Organizers have ordered 2,000 T-shirts with his name and number. St. Francis is buying 500 for its fans.

"We're hoping to have the entire place decked out in red, white and blue," said Tim Wooer, who was Hansen's coach at Kingsley.

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