Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Niall W Coti-Sears

Arlington, Virginia

June 23, 2012

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
23 Marine L/Cpl

1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Twentynine Palms, California

 Killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

 

This photo was taken on Monday, October 28, 2013. Niall's friend, Sgt. Nick Brandau was in town to run the Marine Corps Marathon and we got together to see each other and visit Niall at ANC. We had met last November in Twenty-Nine Palms California for the memorial tribute for the six Marines who were killed in Afghanistan over the summer. Nick was there with Niall when he was killed and helped transport him to the chopper on the field. A sad day and a happy day too we had together last Monday. Two people who loved a young and talented young man. Gone but always remembered. Semper Fi! (Susan C 11/02/13)

From My Fox DC myfoxdc.com 06/26/12:

Arlington Marine, Lance Cpl. Niall W. Coti-Sears, killed in Afghanistan
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 11:35 AM PDT Updated: Jul 10, 2012 11:38 AM PDT
By Bob Barnard, @barnardfox5dc

WASHINGTON -
Another Washington D.C. area family is mourning the loss of a young marine killed in Afghanistan.

Lance Cpl. Niall Coti-Sears grew up in the District and in Arlington, Va. He was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb during combat operations. He was just 23 years old.

His mother, Susan Coti, was traveling in Australia when she got the news.

"The saddest thing was when I got home yesterday," says Coti by phone as she and other relatives arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where her son's remains were due to arrive at midnight Tuesday. "When I got home, there were two beautiful, beautiful bouquets of very exotic flowers and he always had exquisite, sophisticated taste too. And there were two bouquets with beautiful notes, you know: 'Just because. You're always here for me, Mom. I love you. I'll see you soon."'

"And the other one: 'I love you with all my heart.' And I don't know if he sent them because he had some kind of premonition that something might ... well, I'm sure he knew something might happen. It was very, very dangerous what he was doing."

Susan Coti is a fourth grade teacher at John Eaton Elementary School in Northwest D.C.

She says Niall was a talented musician. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School in the District, studied music composition for a year at a college in England. He came home and joined the Marines in November, 2008.

"And he could have chosen anything," Coti says. "But he wanted to be infantry. He wanted to be in Afghanistan. He wanted to be out there ... in the most dangerous situations. And he really believed in that cause."

Niall was killed two days after his birthday.

"I think he might have known something was going on," Coti explains. "He was supposed to be the radio operator. But it turns out he was the point man, which is the most dangerous position you could be in. He had to go scout before the rest of the platoon and make sure the way was clear for everyone. And that's how he was killed. He stepped on an IED."

In a Facebook posting to her son last Wednesday, Susan wrote: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIALL! I LOVE YOU AND WISH YOU ABUNDANT STRENGTH AND PROTECTION. COME HOME SOON!!"

"He was a very, very interesting," says Coti. "Creative, talented, a nutball in some ways. And I'm so proud to be his mother. And that I had him for 23 years."

Susan says her father, a retired Marine Colonel, had a great influence on his grandson.

Colonel Coti was among the family members at Dover to welcome Niall home.

From Travis Manion Foundation travismanion.org :

LCPL. NIALL W. COTI-SEARS, USMC
Lance Corporal Niall W. Coti-Sears, United States Marine Corps
KIA 06.23.2012 DOB 06.21.1989 Hometown WASHINGTON, D.C.
NIALL'S STORY
Lance Corporal Niall W. Coti-Sears, born and bred in the Washington, D.C. area, was killed in action on June 23, 2012 when he stepped on a roadside bomb while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He died two days after his 23rd birthday. Coti-Sears was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. For his service he earned the Purple Heart Medal and Combat Action Ribbon, among other awards.

Lance Corporal Coti-Sears was was a talented poet, songwriter, and musician. He carried this love through his service in the Marines, which he joined in November, 2008, by teaching some of his fellow platoon members to play the guitar. He was also very involved with John Eaton Elementary School, where his mother is a fourth grade teacher. On April 16, 2013 the school conducted a dedication ceremony and initiated the Niall W. Coti-Sears Memorial Peace Garden in his honor.

Lance Corporal Coti-Sears’ mother, Susan Coti, carries on his legacy with the help of the Travis Manion Foundation through initiatives to better the available arts and education of youths in Burma. This project is expressed through a challenge grant, and honors Niall Coti-Sears’ love for music and children.

“When I got home,” Susan Coti says of June 25th, two days after her son’s death, “There were two beautiful, beautiful bouquets of very exotic flowers and he always had exquisite, sophisticated taste, too. And there were two bouquets with beautiful notes, you know: ‘Just because. You’re always here for me, Mom. I love you. I’ll see you soon’ and the other one: ‘I love you with all my heart.’”

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