Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Staff Sgt. Shane M. Koele

25, of Wayne, Nebraska.
Koele died at Shindand Airfield, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained March 15, 2005 in Shindand, Afghanistan, when a land mine exploded near his HMMWV. He was assigned to the 212th Military Police Company, Kitzingen, Germany. Died on March 16, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Staff Sgt. Shane M. Koele.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"It's been 20 years since you showed up to the barracks in Riley, with Wayne, hey Wayne. And you made a copy of a blink 182 cassette tape for me. (Yes I said cassette tape)
We were children. And I miss you friend.
Men of your caliber are rare these days."
A wardog of 2000 Ks

"It's been years... Words can't explain how unfortunate this world is without you ..."
Brandon of Ca

"I miss you brother. It has been a long time, but you are still regularly in my thoughts. We named our daughter, Shaina, in your honor. She has a smile reminiscent of yours. You will always be my friend and never forgotten."
Colin Doniger of Leesburg, VA

"My uncle Shane Marion Koele was the best dad, husband, and uncle even if i only knew him for a few years he was the best he gave his all to defend the USA and respected everyone and anyone. Thank you to all the veterans who had served to. Thanks for ur support :)"
Dylan Burns of Williamsburg IA USA

"We are preparing to open a new DFAC (July 2014) on Bagram Army Airfield and it will be named in honor of SSG Shane M. Koele replacing the current Koele DFAC. SSG Koele (and his family) will NOT be forgotten!"
Chief Glembot of Bagram, Afghanistan

"I miss you Shane. Thinking of you this Memorial Day!! I will never forget ALL that you have given me. God Bless!!"
Phil Mohs of St Paul, MN

"This time of year is always hard for me. I was in Shindad at the time, and was actually suppose to be in his vehicle when the incident occured. I always ask the questions "why him" and "why couldn't i have done more?". I just pray that his family and friends are clothed in Gods grace and we all can remember the outstanding person Shane was"
Ron H. of Leavenworth, KS

"Our daughter was stationed in Camp Koele in 2009, then in June 2011 she named her baby Koele. Thanks for serving our country!"
Joyce Bolander of Fortville, IN

"Fallen but not forgotten. To family and friends of Shane Koele. I had the honor of serving with Shane Koele in Fort Riley Kansas while attached to the 300MP company. This guy was smart, funny and was definitely the one you wanted watching your back. We miss you and my heart goes out to his family, I am truly sorry for your loss. Fallen but not forgotten."
Bruce Ellis of Jacksonville, AL

"Brother, just letting you and your family know your not forgotten. It has bene many years, however I arrived in Bagram and immediately had to go back to Camp Koele to reflect on a true American Hero."
Fellow MP of Afghanistan

"Thank you for your service and sacrifice--you're never forgotten."
Stefan Lachmann of Kaiserslautern, Germany

"This many years later we have not forgotten you Shane Koele! You were an amazing father, husband, soldier and leader. My husband loved serving with you and misses you greatly! Rest in Peace and you are never forgotten!"
Shanna Lawson of Corona De Tucson, AZ

"To the family of SSG Shane Koele,

I never had the honor of meeting SSG Koele in person but I had the honor of getting to know him through the fellow MP's and soldiers that he served with. I remember 15 March 2005 as if it were yesterday, I had only been in Afghanistan 1 month and the news of his passing spread through the then Camp Viper (MP housing area on Bagram) that a fellow MP had been fatally wounded. I was there with the other MP's for the Fallen Soldier Ceremony for Shane and for the renaming of Camp Viper to Camp Koele. The reverence and respect that his fellow MP's that served with and new him best will be with me always. SSG Koele was a natural leader and the MP Corp is stronger because of him. "Of The Troops And For The Troops""
CW2 Kenneth Peck of 690th MP

"To my dearest Shane... through the years there has not been one day that you have not come to my mind. I think of you with great fondness knowing that you were a great soldier, friend, husband, son, and father. You are greatly missed everyday! There will be no other like you (whew!) I love you so much."
Tresa of Marion, Iowa

"Cheryl, I hope you and K- are making it alright. I suppose it's been a few years, but I still remember you dropping SSG Koele off for his patrol shift in Kitzingen, puppy in the window. I remember SSG Koele would come to the gym quite regularly, and you would be with him most days. You two were a great example of a committed marriage. SSG Koele was a blessing to 1st Platoon, 212th MP CO. SSG Drake and SSG Mendez used to bemoan how there were no "shooting stars" anymore for them to mentor. Then SSG Koele showed up. Those two guys poured their lives into Koele. Everything he touched was gold. He gave them back their hope in the future of the MP Corps, and the Army. He was always one step ahead of the mission, cared for Soldiers, and knew how to laugh. He made coming to work fun. Having him, Drake and Mendez together made being the platoon leader fun. His death is a loss that will never be filled."
CPT Carolyn Erickson (Martin) of Ft. Leonard Wood, MO

"It has been some time now since that night in Shindand that will forever be etched in my memory. I didn't know Shane personally, but I do know that he had just come in from his own long mission and offered to lead ours because he already knew the route. I remember thinking that he must have been the most selfless person in the world. I had only met him in passing, but when I saw the explosion and heard over the radio that he had passed, he became a part of my life forever. My condolences go out to the family and friends."
SGT Justin L Baird of 160th SOAR(A) Ft. Campbell, KY

"It could have been me that fatefull night but the Lord decided it was Shane's time. You will always be remembered as a Hero by so many, Your fellow Squad Leader at the time."
SSG Gaunt(R) of Tooele, Utah

"November 11, 2007
To the family of Staff Sgt. Shane M. Koele:
Shane gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Thank You Shane for helping our country. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!! We love you back in Hartley."
Tressa DeBoer of Hartley Ia USA

"To the family of SSG Shane Koele, I want you to know that we haven't forgot about Shane and he continues to stay in our hearts and prayers."
of Maryland

"These things we do that others may live! I am proud to have been part of the rescue crew that returned the body of Sgt Koele to his family."
TSgt Chris Raminger of Nellis AFB Nevada

buki of allbaner

"It has been some time now since Shane's death. I did not know hime well but think of him often. I shared an office with his wife and attended the same school as shane. My husband was stationed just a few miles from Shane in Afg and speaks of that night. Please know that the men and women serving this country now fight for Shane and others that have fallen in the line of duty. It is often said that a hero is as brave as any man only for ten minutes longer. It is that ten minutes that these men and women dedicate their lives too. May Shane's daughter always know the dedication and bravery of her father, may his wife always know his love and cherish it and may this country always know of the hero, Shane Koele."
Bethany Kolb of Rochester, MN

"I served with Shane at Ft. Riley and this is one of the sadest days i have had. Shane was always a mentor, leader and most of all a friend. My praters go out to the Koele family."
SGT David Wilson of Fort Rucker, Al

"To the Koele family,
I was with shane that fatefull night in shindand, afghanistan. It was an honor to serve with him. He was one of the few last great leaders left in the MP Corp...He will be missed...My heart goes out to his wife and daughter. His bracelet never leaves my wrist."
Gary DeLoach of Corpus Christi, Texas

"I have been thinking of this for a long time. I remember the first and last time met SSG Koele. The first was a 9mm range in Kitzgen. Totally professional and really cared. The last time was in Shindand the day he was taken from us. He was walking down the stairs (the ones on the side of the building)and he said something to me about the mission he was about to go on. That is my last memory of him. He was the best NCO i have known. A suberb soldier that i model myself after. May god give us peace one day. I will never forget. The day i will be at peace with this is the day the good lord calls me home."
MP of germany

I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OEF, but for your service in Iraq as well. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas

"I'am proud to have served with one of the best NCO's the MP Corps has ever had. He was a great soldier and an even better man. I want his family to know he'll never be forgotten and we all miss him so much."
SPC Paul Mancino of Kitzingen, Germany

"SSG Koele was a great soldier. I had the honor of serving with him in the 212th MP Co in Germany. My heart goes out to his friends and family. He will forever be remembered. "God Bless""
SPC Christopher G. Stith of United States Military Academy, West Point NY

"To the family of: Shane M. Koele I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"I was SSG Shane Koele's Squad leader for a few months in the 300th Military Police company and just to say a few short words for him and his family. I still remember him very well he was one of the most squared away NCO's physically and Mentally I have ever worked with. Always Professional and yet had a great sense of humor. I think I learned more from him than he learned from me. I will miss him greatly. This is a tragic loss for his family and the US Military.

ALL gave SOME and SOME gave ALL!
SSG Casey L. Schwab of Camp Bucca, Iraq (Manhattan, KS)

"SSG Koele and I served in the same platoon in Iraq. SSG Koele was an inspiration and I will never forget him. He was a wonderful NCO and an all around pleasure to be around. May God Bless his family ."
A former Predetor of Yongsan, Korea

"To the family and friends of Shane Koele,

I served with Shane at Fort Riley and in Iraq. Shane was a great soldier, peer, and friend. Shane motivated everyone around him by his mere presence. Shane was a true soldier and leader. My prayers are with his family. To Shane: "We miss you, brother.""
Ryan D. Anderson of Fort Riley, KS

"I think of Shane everyday with a smile and a tear. He is ever present in his daughter's eyes, and his friends' hearts. My fondest memories are of times we spent together. I am honored to have been his friend. I pray God's peace will embrace his family. Shane, I love you."
Shelby Kruse of Le Mars, IA

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Thank you for protecting my family."
Stephanie Partee of Pittsburgh PA

"I was stationed wtih Shane at Ft Riley and remember when he first came to the 300th. He was an outstanding soldier that excelled in everything that he did and helped anyone who need help along the way. I was deployed to Iraq in 03' with Shane and he did what he did best, faught with honor for his country and his fellow soldiers. "SHANE ENJOY THAT BIG SILVERADO IN THE SKY" THANK YOU SHANE FOR GIVING US FREEDOM"

"I didn't really know Shane Koele that well, but I was stationed with him at Fort Riley. The few interactions I had with him I could tell he was a sincere man who loved his country and loved his family. My condolences to his family and friends. He will be a Hero until the end of time."
a fellow Soldier of U.S.A

"To The Family of Shane

I among so many others was truly blessed to serve with Shane at fort riley in the 300th. I was proud to call him my fellow wardawg. Shane never once put himself before his team or platton. Shane was a mentor, leader, and companion, No matter the task he always gave his all and in turn gave us the courage and determination to do the same. If you were to ask any of the fellow wardawgs to describe shane we all would say "hes our idol" we all aspired to be like him. The country, Army, and his family have all lost a great Man. To his Wife and Daughter....Your Husband and Father was one of the greatest men of all time. He touched so many lifes and we all miss him. We are all very proud to have served with him and will Never Forget SSgt Shane Koele."
Andrew P Lively of Belton, Texas

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA""


"SSG Shane Koele, will never be forgotten. Up until the very last minute he was doing what he did best, helping others. He dedicated his life to helping Soldiers and did so flawlessly. I also never forget him as a friend. He was always there with a smile to give you a good laugh. You are with us everyday."
1LT John Chiappone of 1st Platoon 212th MP, Shindand Afghanistan

"Its been a long time since Shane and I first met. He was a great soldier, leader and mentor but more than that a good person. He was always the bigger man taking that extra minute to mentor the new soldier including myself. Great leaders genuinely care about the welfare of others and Shane led that by example showing in his actions. May God bless him in heaven and look down on his family and bless them with peace."
SGT Kyle M Smith of SOCKOR Yongsan, Korea

"Koele was a great guy. He was an excellent soldier, leader and a person. The guy was just a machine. He cared about his soldiers, friends and family. His life was tragically cut short, but I'm confident in his 25 years on this earth, he lived his life to the fullest and did more than most people do in a life time. His death wasnít in vain either. He died for a noble cause. Great men throughout history have been soldiers and warriors. Shane M. Koele, my friends, was a warrior. Because of his sacrifice and courage and many others like him, a people are free now and one day will enjoy the same freedoms we take for granted. Maybe one day a little Afghan boy or girl, for whom it's now possible to learn and explore, will learn about the great Shane Koele. Bye Koele, you will always have a special place in my heart. I would like to say that I would see you up there, but I have a feeling youíre going to be nowhere near me. Youíll be in a much better place."
Your fellow soldier of United States Army

"Shane was one of the first friends I ever had, and always a person of outstanding courage and character. It was an honor and a privelege to be friends with him. His family will be in my thoughts and prayers. He left a mark on all those he was around and will be missed by all that knew him."
John Kramer of Pella, IA

"I also serve with SSG Koele.He was a graet role model to follow. A great NCO, I seen him Lead great soldiers in the right path. My Prayers goes out to his family, and may God bless SSG. Koele on his peaceful journey."
SPC. Dennis G. Hollimon of Fort Jackson, South Carolina

"To Shane's entire family... may you find peace in this time of loss and always remember the love Shane has for you in his heart. Growing up with Shane and being his classmate was such a treat... he always had that boyish grin on his face and was such a determined and motivated leader. For Shane, no mountain was too high to climb... no obstacle could stand in the way of him and success. I'll never forget him, the way he impacted everyone he came into contact with, and the incredible person he was and always will be in the hearts of so many. His memory will never be forgotten and his sacrifice for this country will always be deeply cherished and forever appreciated. You are in the hearts and prayers of so many. God bless."
Sarah S. Schulz of Austin, Texas

"To Shane's family & friends:
I'm so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I pray God brings you comfort and I thank you for Shane's sacrifice. To live in freedom, the cost is sometimes unimaginable. I thank him, and all of you that you reared and supported such a man to answer the call. God keep each one of you."
De'on Miller, Proud Mom of L.Cpl. Aaron C. Austin, USMC, KIA April 26, 2004 Fallujah, Iraq of Lovington, NM, USA

"To SSG Koele family
I know words cannot change the past. I briefly served with Shane when he came to the 300th Military Police Company as a young soldier fresh out of basic and AIT. I knew in those short months, that I knew Shane, he was going to be a strong NCO. The Army and the military police corp lost a strong leader. To all of us that knew Shane, you will always be remember in our hearts. My sympathy goes out to his wife and daugther. Shane, you will not be forgotten"
SSG Alan Wong of 546th MP Co, Ft. Stewart, GA

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Shane , will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"My Deepest Condolences go out to the family of SSG Koele. In The Time That I knew Him. When His Bright Smile And His Wonderful personality Walked into the Shoppette Every Now And Then. I Knew That He Was Always An Angel And Truely A Hero In My Eyes. I Cant Even imagine the terrible pain you are going through right now. but always know that he is not really gone his spirit will always live forever and all of his love to his daughter and to his wife and of course all of his family who cared so much about him. i wanted to let you know that your family will always be in my prayers and Shane will never be forgotten, all of my love, god bless!
Yvette S. and the Sanchez Family"
Yvette Sanchez of Kitzingen, Germany

"Keith and Mary - our thoughts and prayers are with you and I only wished we could ease the unbearable pain you must be going through. We are so sorry for your loss. May God be with you all."
Jim & Barbara Rose of Spring, TX

"To the family and friends of Shane Koele. I think everyone can talk about how great SSG Koele was as a soldier and a NCO. He was one of the best, no he was the best at everything he did. As a person and as a friend he was great. Funny and serious when he needed to be. What else can I say, Shane Koele was one of friends you would like to have and he was one of the squad leaders you would want to lead you into war. Sorry I could not make it to the services. He will be missed by all he ever came into contact with."
Bruce Ellis of Fort Riley, Kansas

"To The Koele Family-
Shane has touched so many lives and will live on through all who love him. I pray that God can help you through this difficult time. Please know that Shane's sacrafice is not and will never be taken for granted. I am so grateful for men and women like him who risk thier lives every day to protect our homes and our countries. He truly is a hero. My love and prayers go out to all his family and friends."
Jessica Daugherty of Ames, IA, USA

"To Shane's family,
I will always remember Shane starting out as the annoying little brother who wouldn't leave Shannon and I alone. But turning into one of the best guys I will ever know. He always knew how to put a smile on your face and cheer you up when you were down. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten."
Mary Grosvenor of Richardson, Tx

"Like so many others, I too had the honor of serving with SSG Koele in the 300th MP Co at Ft. Riley and during OIF 1. There are so many great things that could be said about SSG Koele, most having already been said. SSG Koele was just so full of life, and could bring a smile to anyones day. To the Koele family, I am sadden for the lost of Shane. He is a GREAT person and will be greatly missed by many. May god be with you all during this time of difficulty."
John Hill of Wichita, Ks

"To the family of SSG Shane M. Koele,
words can not express the feelings i feel after hearing such news. He was and still is a great man. I was stationed with SSG Koele in the 212th mp co in germany. Among all of the nco's i had the pleasure of working with, he by far was the most exciting person to work with. He always made sure that not only his soldiers but, others were taken care of. If you had any problems, he was there. May God rest his soul and remember his spirit will always live on. He will never be forgotten. RIP"
Spc Michael D. McFarland of Fort Carson, Colorado

"To the Koele Family:
I am so sorry to hear about Sgt. Koele.. You are all in our prayers and thoughts each and everyday.. Everyone back in Germany that live on Marshall Hieghts is willing to do anything we can to make it easier on you.. If you need help packing your house hold things and stuff please let me know so i can relay the massage back to them and they will do it. All of us are praying for you and your family. You are a strong woman and I know your going to make it.. Put all your trust in God and he will get you through.. God bless and We LOVE you! Rachel Fragoso and all the wives back in Germany. We have donations that we would like to give to you and your family if we could just get an address to send them to.. just e-mail me when you can at Clutzeblonde@hotmail.com and we'll be sure to get them where they need to go."
Rachel Fragoso of Kitzingen, Germany

"I served with Shane in the 300th MP Company. He was a strong leader, a true warrior, and he greatly impacted all with whom he served. One thing is certain; his sacrifice will never be forgotten. My gratitude goes out for his great service and my heart goes out to his family."
1LT Patricia Kast of Fort Riley, KS

"I too served in OIF with SSG Koele, I have known Shane for a long time. While we also served in Washington DC for a short time he was one of my NCO's. I have never learned from anyone in 4 years what I learned from Shane. He was not only one of the best NCO's but a great friend. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you whose life has been touched by SSG Koele. I never forget you.....
SGT Robyn D. McClure
300th Military Police Co. Fort Riley, Kansas"
Sgt. Robyn D. McClure of In route to Korea

"To Shane's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our son returned safely from Afghanistan, only to lose his life in Iraq. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

"To the Koele family,
I served with Shane in the 300th during OIF and you could not ask for a better soldier or leader to work with than him. He was the best of the best. The impact he has left on so many people has been incredible to watch and is a true testament to the kind of person he was. May God bless you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
1LT Jessica Murphy of Ft. Riley, KS

"SSG Koele was not just the best squad leader in my company, he was a great man and a great friend and mentor to all my soldiers. I am honored to have served with him both at Fort Riley in the 300th but also as his Commander in the 212th. Everything he did, everyday was in the true spirit of leadership. I wish you could all have seen him as a squad leader. You would have been so proud! The soldiers looked up to him in awe and he was so great with them. It was as if they craved his leadership and he was always ready to give it. In the three days he was here running missions.. he came back from his own and volunteered twice to go back out and save either other MPs that were stuck out there and once a bunch of Afghanis that were drowning. He was so dedicated and so selfless it is amazing. We had his memorial today and it was awesome and very professional. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get them back. The soldiers are still mourning, but have begun getting back on missions. They know he would have wanted them to continue the fight, for his sake. We will all be okay, never the same, but okay. The 212 knows that Shane will be guiding us through the rest of this mission and the rest of our lives."
CPT Ann Dunscombe of Shindand Afghanistan

"Shane was one of the best people I have ever known. He strived for excellence both in his military career and his personal life. I feel honored to have served with him and to have had him as a friend. His smile will live on through the one's that love him and he will be forever remembered and missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, daughter and family during this difficult time."
Becky Saunders of Chicago, IL

"Shane was truly one of the best Noncommissioned Officers to ever have served in the Army. Having spent almost my whole military career with Shane, I was able to see the way he affected so many different peopleís lives. He was someone that everyone tried to model their lives after. He gave his life so that others could experience freedom and people in the United States could live without fear. His sacrifice and his memory will never be forgotten. My deepest regards and sympathy goes out to his wife and family he left behind. Shane was truly a hero and will be forever missed."
SGT Jon-Michael French of Darmstadt Germany

"Shane has so many outstanding qualities, from his love for life and loyalty to his friends to his natural leadership abilities. Shane was the type of person you wanted as a friend or leader; you knew that you where in good hands and that he would never let you down. It is an honor to have served with Shane; he was the epitome of what a good soldier should be. My deepest sympathy goes out to his wife and family. Iím going to miss you brother."
Brian Eagen of Cary, North Carolina


"To the Koele family,
I too served with Shane at Fort Riley and during OIF1. He was a great NCO and role model for other soldiers. All of us who served with him will never forget the times we shared. My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. May God bless you and keep you."
1LT Johnes, Chris of Fort Riley, KS.

"To the Koele Family,
I served with Shane at Fort Riley. This is such a tragic loss. He will always be remembered as one of the Best. Shane was the kind of Soldier that everyone wanted to serve with or have him leading them. He was a one of a kind person who will always be dearly missed and loved. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and God Bless!"
SFC McBride, Adam of Darmstadt, Germany

"Thank you Shane Koele, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Shane Koele:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Shane for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Shane Koele:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Shane, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on