‘I will love you forever’: Family and friends say final goodbye to soldier killed in training accident

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CONNEAUT, Ohio — It was an emotional Saturday in Conneaut as funeral services were held for Sgt. Thomas Cole Walker.

Those who knew the 22-year-old best shared memories they will hold close to their hearts.

“Cole always watched out for the people that he loved,” said his sister, Wendy Walker Kummerer.

On the cold November day, nothing but warmth and love could be felt at New Leaf United Methodist Church.

Walker was a newlywed and loved hosting backyard BBQs. The 2016 graduate was a proud Spartan football player who joined the Army right after graduation.

“When Cole was a little boy he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, ‘Army man!'” said Kummerer.

Walker and two others were killed in a training accident at Fort Stewart, Georgia on October 20.

His widow, Taylor Walker, relived that horrific day.

“A 19-year-old girl, simply waiting for her husband to come home from training in the field, who she talked to almost an hour and a half before he passed,” she recalled.

She also shared stories of their happy life together with two dogs and plans for the future.

“He wanted a baby boy and to name him Thomas Elliot Walker,” she said.

Walker’s mother had already left this world in 2006, according to his obituary.

“Perhaps the only solace in all this tragedy is that he has joined her in heaven,” said Kummerer.

Those who spoke at the funeral said the number of people he touched during his life was exponential.

A military funeral procession honored his service to this country. His loved ones, brothers in arms and community gathered one last time to wish him a peaceful rest.

“I will love you forever. I promise to never leave your side and I’m so proud to be your wife,” said Taylor.

Walker was posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his three years of military service.

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