Sgt. Warren S. Hansen earned a reputation for heroism even before his military service, receiving a medal for saving a man from drowning when he was just 15. “He”s very handsome and very decorated. He has numerous awards,” said the Rev. Vilas Mazemke, his pastor. “He was a very good troop, one of high morale.”
Hansen, 36, of Clintonville, Wis., died Nov. 15 when two Black Hawk helicopters collided in Iraq. He was assigned to Fort Campbell, and is survived by his brother. The 17-year veteran had always wanted to serve in the military, following a family tradition. His father died while serving, and his stepfather was a Marine. “That”s what he wanted to be ever since he was a little guy,” Mazemke said. Hansen, who had served in Desert Storm and in Bosnia, wrote Mazemke an e-mail about the recent deaths of three friends in Iraq. “It”s gotten personal, the one thing I hoped wouldn”t happen,” Mazemke recalled Hansen wrote.