In case anyone wants to send flowers or a card to Scott Olsen (Marine injured in Oakland)
USMC Scott Olsen
1411 East 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602
Article By Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel
Marine from Onalaska injured in protest in California
Oct. 26, 2011 |(193) Comments
A Marine from Onalaska, Wis., suffered a fractured skull during an Occupy Wall Street protest in California and was in critical condition Wednesday.
Scott Olsen, 24, who served two tours of Iraq, was struck by an unidentified object as Oakland police and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators clashed. Some witnesses said Olsen was hit by a tear-gas canister; others said it was a rubber bullet fired by police.
Olsen was conscious when he was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland on Tuesday night but was unconscious Wednesday, suffering from brain swelling, said his roommate Keith Shannon, who served in the same Marine unit as Olsen.
Aaron Hinde, who knows Olsen from Iraq Veterans Against the War, said Olsen suffered a seizure at the hospital. A hospital spokesman confirmed that Olsen was in critical condition Wednesday.
Olsen, whose uncle served in the Marines, signed up for the military when he was 17 and still in high school. As a member of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, he was deployed to Iraq from August 2006 to May 2007 and again in 2008-’09. Olsen was not injured in his deployments, but his unit was hit by numerous IEDs, said Shannon, who served with Olsen on Olsen’s first deployment and helped him get a job in information technology in the San Francisco Bay area.
Olsen left the military in 2010.
“It wasn’t what he wanted to do for a career; he didn’t agree with the war and the way it was going. He thought he could best serve people from outside the military,” Shannon said.
As members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Olsen and Shannon participated in Occupy San Francisco demonstrations. When Oakland Occupy Wall Street organizers put out a call for people to participate in a rally Tuesday night, Olsen, wearing his Marine uniform shirt, decided to attend.
The demonstrators had been making an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of a disbanded protesters’ camp when they were met by police officers in riot gear. The clash Tuesday came as officials complained about what they described as deteriorating safety, sanitation and health issues at the dismantled camp.
Photos posted on the Internet show Olsen on the ground, bleeding and being helped by other protesters who took him to the hospital.
Olsen’s mother was traveling from Wisconsin to California on Wednesday to be with her son, Hinde said.
Shannon said Olsen is a quiet guy who loves to play hockey, listen to Bay-area bands, has a hamster named Agent Carmichael and moved to California when he got a job as a systems network administrator.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.