Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with Company M, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On March 24, 1969, while serving as Point Man for the Second Platoon, Private First Class Coker was leading his patrol when he encountered five enemy soldiers on a narrow jungle trail. Reacting instantly, he warned the Marines following him and wounded one of the enemy soldiers with his M-16 rifle. When the enemy retreated, Private First Class Coker's squad aggressively pursued them to cave. As the squad neared the cave, it came under intense hostile fire, seriously wounding one Marine and forcing the others to take cover. Observing the wounded man lying exposed to continuous enemy fire, Private First Class Coker disregarded his own safety and moved across the fire-swept terrain toward his companion. Although wounded by enemy small arms fire, he ignored his injury as he resolutely continued to crawl across the hazardous area and then skillfully threw a hand grenade into the enemy positions, suppressing the hostile fire sufficiently to enable him to reach the wounded man. As he began to drag his injured comrade out of the enemy's killing zone, a hostile grenade landed on the wounded Marine. Unhesitatingly, Private First Class Coker grabbed the grenade with both hands and turned away from his wounded companion but, before he could dispose of the grenade it exploded. Severely wounded but undaunted he refused to abandon his comrade. As he moved toward friendly lines, two more enemy grenades exploded near him inflicting still further injuries. Possessed only with the safety of his comrade, Private First Class Coker, with supreme effort, continued to attempt to crawl and pull the wounded Marine with him. His heroic deeds inspired his fellow Marines to such aggressive action that the North Vietnamese fire was suppressed sufficiently to enable others to reach him and carrying him to a relatively safe area where he later succumbed to his extensive wounds. Private First Class Coker's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Kelly Combs said...

Did I tell you about when I went to the West Point USMA reunion with my husband? The room was filled with tough-as-nails military men. Then they played a video showing all their classmates that they had lost. Every man was crying. I learned a lesson that day. The price is high, and every man in the room knows they might be paying with their death. And sometimes watching your friend give their life is as hard as giving your own.

Edie said...

I really have to hand it to you for the way you honor those who have served and those who have lost their lives. I am truly grateful for all those that serve.