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The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski) MANDATORY CREDIT, Associated Press
Michael Cochran, the sister of Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran of Wilder, Idaho, remembers her brother before an honorable transfer of his remains at Gowen Air Field in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. Lance Cpl. Cochran was killed on Jan. 15 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

BOISE, Idaho — Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cochran dreamed of "going to the top" in his military career; to inspire people.

Mostly, though, the Wilder Marine believed in friendship, said his sister Michael Cochran, 19.

Kenneth Cochran, 20, was one of two Marines who died January 15 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The incident is under investigation.

Cochran is at least the 61st Idahoan to die since the United States launched military actions after Sept. 11, 2001.

He was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Okinawa, Japan.

"People would describe him as compassionate, which is why so many people were surprised when he became a Marine," said Michael Cochran. "He was big, and it was his dream."

And he had the example of both his parents and sister, who serve or have served in the armed forces. His father, George Cochran, is a former Marine. His mother is Julia Cochran, a U.S. Army Captain.

"He grew up hearing stories about my dad," Cochran said. "Kenny's dream was to become a Marine."

Kenneth Cochran's body was returned to Idaho Saturday. He was met by his family, and a group of fellow Marines.

They encircled his casket, pausing for a prayer and a moment of reflection.

Those gathered on the tarmac at Boise's Gowen Field remained silent while Cochran's body was handed over to his family.

Earlier Saturday his younger sister paused to remember her brother.

"He was an old man trapped in a young man's body," Michael Cochran said.

She remembered her brother wowing his elementary school classmates with a little robot he had constructed with his dad.

That experience, of welding and crafting, helped lead him to his career as a "utilities guy" for the Marines, Michael Cochran said.

Even with his love for the Marine Corps and his comrades, his family always came first.

They would often chat and keep in touch on Skype and over the internet while he was deployed.

For a time, he got to serve in the same area with his older sister Joyce Cochran, a U.S. Army Combat Medic Specialist.

Michael Cochran recalled a time when the two of them — just a year apart in age — were having a raucous fight, as siblings do.

"It wasn't 20 minutes later he came over and said 'I love you. Sorry,'" Michael Cochran said. "He was a very special guy and he will be remembered."

The family will hold a funeral for Kenneth Cochran at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the Parma High School Gym. Interment is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com