News: Marines, family remember fallen Marine
Story by Cpl. Jennifer Pirante
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines, sailors, family and friends gathered to honor fallen Marine Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey at the Marine Memorial Chapel at Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 28.
The 22-year-old Marine, from Boring, Ore., was killed in action, May 24, during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Coffey was serving his second tour as a military police dog handler with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Those who knew him best will always cherish his friendship,” said Maj. Jan Durham, commanding officer of 1st LE Bn. “Those of us who did not know him are poorer for the absence of these memories and his association, but we are all beneficiaries of his sacrifice.”
To a crowded chapel of family and friends, fellow Marines shared memories of Coffey, all of whom said they remembered him as an honorable Marine and friend.
“He made me a better Marine, a better sergeant, a better person,” said Sgt. Alfred Nieto, military dog handler with 1st LE Bn. “He made a lasting impression that will last throughout the remainder of my time.”
Cpl. Brandon Deleon, military dog handler with 1st LE Bn., described Coffey a committed, selfless Marine with a faithful interest in learning everything he could about his job.
“That’s who he was,” Deleon said. “He always wanted to be a part of the fight. He was dedicated to the job, dedicated to the mission, dedicated to each and every one of us in the platoon.”
Coffey graduated from Damascus Christian School in 2007 and studied at George Fox University in his home state. He enlisted into the Marine Corps in August 2008.
Coffey was to be married to fiancé Brittany Dygert in July and is survived by his mother, Inger, and father, Grant Coffey.