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

Mark W Coleman

Centerville, Washington

May 2, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
40 Army MSgt

2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

 Died at Khakrez, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Welcoming Home Our Hero, Click photo below:

May 15, 2010

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May 15, 2010

For Funeral Service Snapshots, Click photo below:

May 15, 2010

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May 15, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Special Forces Soldier killed in Afghanistan

Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (USASOC News Service, May 6, 2010) – A U.S. Special Forces Soldier was killed when an improvised explosive device exploded during a patrol May 2 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman, 40, was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

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This was Coleman's third deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. Coleman was also a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines.
From The Army Times armytimes.com 05/06/10:

Lewis master sgt. dies in Afghanistan IED blast

Staff and wire reports
Posted : Thursday May 6, 2010 18:58:36 EDT

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Defense Department on Thursday confirmed the death of an Army master sergeant serving in Afghanistan.

Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman, 40, of Centerville, Wash., died Sunday at Khakrez, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his unit was hit with an IED, the Pentagon said. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Coleman’s family told the Yakima Herald-Republic they were informed he was killed while leading a foot patrol in a rugged, rural area of Kandahar province. Coleman was a 22-year veteran of the military and on his third tour in Afghanistan. He joined the Army in 1988 after graduating from Goldendale High School.

From The Seattle Times seattletimes.newssource.com 05/06/10:


Soldier from Thurston County dies in Afghanistan

By Ross Courtney
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA — Mark Coleman was an Army special forces soldier, a 22-year veteran of the military who spoke Thai and had been stationed all over the world.

His wife, Barbie, will remember him as the farm boy who flirted with her by stealing her pencils at Goldendale High School only to return them neatly sharpened.

Master Sgt. Coleman, 40, with the Army's Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, died Sunday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device, or IED.

Family members said Wednesday he died leading a patrol team on foot in a rugged, rural area of Kandahar Province.

"It blew him up before he even knew what hit him," said his sister-in-law, Pam Jussila.

This was Master Sgt. Coleman's fifth deployment in support of an overseas contingency operation, according to a release from U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

Master Sgt. Coleman grew up near Goldendale, Klickitat County, and his parents, Alice Eschelman and Jim Coleman, and other family members still live there.

"There's so many people that loved him," Barbie Coleman said in a phone call from their home in Yelm, Thurston County.

Master Sgt. Coleman deployed in December and was scheduled to be there until August. It was his third tour in Afghanistan.

For the past two years, the couple lived in Yelm with their two children, Jessica, 15, and Brett, 20, who also is in the Army, stationed at Fort Richardson in Alaska.

Family members and friends plan a public memorial May 15 in Goldendale. The family is also planning a private funeral.

"He was a local boy, and everybody knew him at one point," Jussila said.

The Army ran through Master Sgt. Coleman's veins, his wife said. "He loved his job and he believed in what he was doing."

As a child growing up on a farm in Centerville, Master Sgt. Coleman wanted to join the special forces. He left for basic training immediately after graduation from Goldendale High School in 1988.

The high school sweethearts married Feb. 25, 1989, and spent one night together in The Dalles, Ore., before he returned to training in Fort Sill, Okla. He left for Germany the next week.

Master Sgt. Coleman also had been stationed in South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Fort Bragg, N.C., and most recently, Fort Lewis.

He joined the Army's special forces in 1999, training at Fort Bragg, where he learned to speak Thai, his wife said.

The family spent two years in Perth, Australia, when Master Sgt. Coleman was in a foreign-exchange program.

He was eligible for full retirement in 2008 but re-enlisted for five more years. The couple had been discussing another five, putting him on track for a 30-year career.

Master Sgt. Coleman's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and many others. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

The public memorial will be at 2 p.m. in Goldendale, though the family has not yet determined an exact location.

Arrangements are by Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel in Goldendale.

Seattle Times staff reporter Janet I. Tu contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

From The Goldendale Sentinel goldendalesentinel.com 05/13/10:

Fallen hero: Mark Coleman’s heroic life remembered in honor 

Lou Marzeles
Editor

Master Sergeant Mark Coleman, late of Centerville, a graduate of Goldendale High School, comes home to a hero’s welcome this weekend.
Sadly, the welcome is posthumous, after his untimely death last week in Afghanistan. The 22-year Army veteran was killed in action during a combat patrol on Sunday, May 2. Reports are that he died trying to protect his troops and nearby Afghans.
“He was always more concerned about his troops than himself,” says his mother, Alice Eshelman, of Centerville. “They were young and green, and he always talked about wanting to be sure to get them home safely.”
After two prior tours in Afghanistan, this one made him a little nervous. “He was more concerned about this trip to Afghanistan,” says Eshelman. “On his previous tours there, he was with Australian troops. The Americans did more dangerous things.” With the greater portion of responsibility in the war in that country, Americans ventured routinely into more troubled waters.
Coleman was born in Boulder, Colo., but his family moved to Centerville, where he grew up. Coleman’s early life there was the stuff of boyhood lore. He loved his friends and his cars, but “he wasn’t the best student,” Eshelman recalls, “unless he was studying something that really interested him. He was a very busy boy, with all his interests and activities.” He was involved with wrestling and track and lots of horse shows, in which he placed prominently, both locally and regionally.
Coleman graduated from Goldendale High School in 1988. By fall of that year, he had enlisted in the Army. He married his high school sweetheart, Barbie Davidson, in the February of the next year, at the Nazarene Church in Goldendale. Their first child, Brett, was born while he was stationed in Germany. Their second child, Jessica, was born at Fort Sill, Okla.
“Mark felt the Army was a good place to be,” Eshelman says. “He said you can get out of the Army what you want. He felt it was the only branch of the services that gave you the best education. But he said you get out of it only what you put into it. Through the Army, he made sure his kids’ education was provided for—for just an occasion such as this.”
Coleman’s personal philosophy of life helped make him a good soldier, Eshelman points out. “Mark always saw things in black and white,” she says. “Your conduct is either good or bad, right or wrong. That helped him a lot. And if you ever needed any kind of help, he was always right there.”
Coleman clearly made an indelible impression on many. There are people coming to his funeral service this Saturday from Australia, and in this country from as far away as New York and North Carolina, according to reports. An 80-year-old World War II veteran expressed interest in coming from a distance. At his military commemorative service on Friday, a general and a colonel were moved to tears, according to reports from those in attendance.
Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office was contacted by The Sentinel to see if she had plans to attend the funeral. Her spokesperson, Viet Shelton, said that the governor has standing requests to attend ceremonies for Washington state military personnel killed in action, but that she always defers to the wishes of the families. In this case, Shelton said, “the family politely declined to have the governor there. There are a lot of reasons why families might not want the governor there, for privacy or to avoid excess publicity. The governor is always respectful of family wishes.” Gov. Gregoire did order all state flags to be flown at half staff all day Tuesday in Coleman’s honor.
Goldendale Mayor Arletta Parton too has ordered city flags flown at half staff through Saturday, when Coleman’s funeral is scheduled. She also issued a proclamation honoring Coleman. Klickitat County flags have also been ordered flown at half staff through Saturday.
Coleman’s body is coming from Fort Lewis for services and burial this Saturday, May 15. Capt. James Obson arrives here Friday to help facilitate the events. After a private morning service, Coleman will be interred at the Centerville Cemetery between noon and 12:30 p.m Saturday. The public funeral for Coleman will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grace Brethren Church.

From The Goldendale Sentinel goldendalesentinel.com 05/13/10:

Proclamation in honor of Mark Coleman by Goldendale Mayor Arletta Parton

Proclamation, in honor of Master Sergeant Mark W. Coleman

WHEREAS, Master Sergeant Mark W. Coleman was killed when he stepped on an improvised explosive device on May 02, 2010, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, and
WHEREAS, Coleman was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. This was his fifth deployment in support of an Overseas Contingency Operation, and
WHEREAS, Coleman was a 1988 graduate of Goldendale High School in Goldendale, WA, after which he enlisted in the US Army on October 13, 1988, as a Fire Support Specialist, and
WHEREAS, Coleman received numerous awards and decorations during his service and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, and
WHEREAS, Coleman was deeply devoted to his family and his job and knew he was making a difference in people’s lives across the world, and
WHEREAS, Coleman is survived by his wife, Barbie (also a graduate of Goldendale High School) of Yelm, WA and their children, Brett of Fort Richardson, Alaska and Jessica of Yelm, WA. He is also survived by his mother Alice Fay Eshelman of Centerville, WA his adoptive-father James Coleman of Wenatchee, WA and is father Harley Neal Vermilion of Texas, and
WHEREAS, Coleman will be interred at the Centerville Cemetery on Saturday, May 15, 2010 and will be remembered for his service to our country at a Public Memorial on the same day, and
WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Washington has directed that flags at all Washington state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff Tuesday, May 11, 2010, in memory of US Army Master Sergeant Mark W. Coleman, and
WHEREAS, the City of Goldendale, Washington wishes to continue to honor our fallen soldier through the entire week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARLETTA PARTON, Mayor of the City of Goldendale do hereby proclaim that all city flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Master Sergeant Mark W. Coleman from now until after Coleman’s funeral which is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2010.
And I urge all citizens of the community to join me in honoring Mark Coleman, supporting his family and remembering his service to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Goldendale to be affixed the 11th day of May, 2010.
—Arletta Parton, Mayor

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