Thomson honors soldier who died

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THOMSON --- U.S. Army Sgt. Steve McCoy, one of America's latest casualties of the Iraq war, was buried at a cemetery in Thomson on Thursday night.

Members of the Fort Gordon Honor Guard remove Army Sgt. Steve McCoy's casket during the soldier's funeral in Thomson.  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
Members of the Fort Gordon Honor Guard remove Army Sgt. Steve McCoy's casket during the soldier's funeral in Thomson.

As the funeral procession made its way through the town's business district, business owners and patrons came out to bid farewell to the fallen soldier.

"I don't think I've ever been as honored as I was to see the citizens of Thomson on the route from the funeral home to the grave site with the spontaneous acts of respect at every cross road," said Warrenton Mayor Tony Mimbs. "It made me feel proud to be an American."

Although Sgt. McCoy lived in Moultrie and was stationed at Fort Stewart, "Steve belonged to Warren County, too," said Mayor Mimbs. Sgt. McCoy's parents, Sam and Pam McCoy, live in Camak. Other family members live in Warren County.

Sgt. McCoy, who turned 23 just nine days before his death June 10, had been a patient at Fort Sam Houston Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio since his Bradley armored vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad on Easter Sunday. Four of the men with him were killed instantly, which brought the war's death toll to 4,000.

U.S. Army Gen. Jeffrey Foley, who commands Fort Gordon, met privately with family members of Sgt. McCoy before the funeral service to present them with the Gold Star Lapel Button. The button has been given to immediate family members of soldiers killed in the line of duty since World War II.

Sgt. McCoy's wife, Tabitha, and their twin children, Ryley and Landen, who are about to turn 4, also received the pin.

"We're all volunteers -- all of our guys and gals serve this country, because they choose to serve this great country," Gen. Foley said.

He said Americans should never underestimate how proud those who serve in the armed forces feel when others show their support.

"If we know that people really care, it makes us walk just a little taller," Gen. Foley said.

U.S. Army Chaplain Eugene Mack of Fort Sam Houston Brooke Army Medical Center said at the Savannah Valley Memorial Gardens grave site that family and friends of Sgt. McCoy should never forget the fallen soldier.

A SOLDIER'S TRIBUTE


The following poem sent anonymously from a first class sergeant who got to know Sgt. McCoy in the war zone was read at his funeral:


He rises with the sun,


Sings "Dog face soldier" and begins to run.


He stands proud and very tall;


For his country, he will give it all.


Those who know him are very proud;


Those who don't are the normal crowd.


For tomorrow he does not know where he may be --


protecting another country that wants to be free.


The majority will want to turn their chin;


But when someone calls for help,


He is the first to rush in.


He realizes his own blood may spill.


And the shock across his body will bring a chill.


Sometimes he is scared what it may be like;


But he serves out of love and that makes it all right.


He knows if he dies before the war is done;


Some other proud soldier will sing


"Dog face soldier" at the echoes of the gun.


And now we know his sacrifice, the pain


he bore, long days and long nights.


But he never showed regret. We are proud of


Sgt. McCoy and will never forget.

Comments (13) Add comment
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justputtin
1527
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justputtin 06/20/08 - 05:46 am
0
0
Thank you to this great man,

Thank you to this great man, and thank you to all that have served.

55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 06/20/08 - 05:49 am
0
0
Pray for the family members

Pray for the family members to be comforted during this time of their mourning for their son, their husband, their father. Honor the memory Sgt. McCOY by acknowledging the service of someone in uniform when the opportunity presents itself. This U.S. Hero paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and we as a city, state, and nation need to step up now to see to it that his widow and children are provided for with respect to their present and future needs.

Amanda J. Wilson
0
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Amanda J. Wilson 06/20/08 - 06:47 am
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0
Thank you for the everything

Thank you for the everything you put fourth so that my family can stay free. Thank you for all whom are willing to give their life for mine. My God bless each and everyone who serves this country.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 06/20/08 - 07:00 am
0
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God bless this young man's

God bless this young man's soul and bless his family that is left behind to grieve for him. I have a son in the Army myself and my husband is a 22 year veteran so I know what the military life is like and it's not easy, for those who have never been a part of it they have no idea the sacrifices that are made by these families. The sad part is that alot of Americans don't appreciate it either, the phrase "Freedom isn't free" is so true...

baseball fan
0
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baseball fan 06/20/08 - 08:15 am
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What an inspiration this

What an inspiration this young man was to his country and his
fellow man. May God bless his soul and bless his family during
this sad time. He made me proud to be an American and I will
never forget the sacrifice that he made for his country and for
people like me. Rest in Peace Sgt. McCoy. We love you and you
will live on in our hearts and through your beautiful children.

curly123053
5378
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curly123053 06/20/08 - 08:25 am
0
0
"A soldier has gone Home" God

"A soldier has gone Home" God Bless

White_Trash1
0
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White_Trash1 06/20/08 - 08:49 am
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To SGT McCoys family "God

To SGT McCoys family "God Bless You All", to SGT McCoy, rest well my brother

Rozzie2003
5
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Rozzie2003 06/20/08 - 12:54 pm
0
0
Words are fine, but I hope

Words are fine, but I hope our country will take care of his family.I know some families ,of soldiers killed in action, are suffering.
This man did what a lot of us aren't doing---voluntering for the armed services and gave his life for us to remain free. I am reminded of the mother in Gwinett County who said they didn't want army recruiters in their schools because their children were going to college, yet the writer said ,she had a U.S. flag flying at her house.
Let's be real and help the families and returning troops.

Rozzie2003
5
Points
Rozzie2003 06/20/08 - 01:11 pm
0
0
Words are fine, but I hope

Words are fine, but I hope our country will take care of his family.I know some families ,of soldiers killed in action, are suffering.
This man did what a lot of us aren't doing---voluntering for the armed services and gave his life for us to remain free. I am reminded of the mother in Gwinett County who said they didn't want army recruiters in their schools because their children were going to college, yet the writer said ,she had a U.S. flag flying at her house.
Let's be real and help the families and returning troops.

gemini62882
0
Points
gemini62882 06/20/08 - 08:00 pm
0
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To Sgt. McCoy's family I just

To Sgt. McCoy's family I just wanted to thank you for your sacrifice for my freedom. I didn't know Sgt McCoy but wish that I could have met him, just to say thank you for his service. I have a nephew that is in the service and it makes you think long and hard about what freedom really means. Everyone takes it for granite but nobody understands the sacrifices of mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives when they fight for us. Once again thank you for allowing me to be free

HOPE
0
Points
HOPE 06/21/08 - 01:06 pm
0
0
this act of honor sgt mccoy

this act of honor sgt mccoy gave is truly heroic. all of america should stand up and support these families that have lost someone to the war. to the mccoy family may god bless your family and love ones. teach his children of the heroic things their father did everyday in iraq. sgt mccoy i know you are with the good lord and let him bring peace to your family.

Cody_Webster
0
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Cody_Webster 06/22/08 - 07:00 am
0
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I salute you my brother,

I salute you my brother, defender of freedom. You have done your duty and done it well. You may rest now knowing your brothers will continue to defend America and all freedom loving people of the world. It's not an easy task, but is is necessary.

miatea58
0
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miatea58 06/25/08 - 05:40 pm
0
0
To Tabitha & Family, I just

To Tabitha & Family, I just want to tell you that I honor you and your family. Sgt. Steve McCoy was an awesome soldier, one who my own son fought along side in the last deployment, one who was there for his brothers, one who looked after those around him. I watched him as a husband and father, love each one of you. It was only a short time that we got to spend with you and the returning family members, but learned so much about him then. SSGT Alan Archuleta was honored to stand along your husband, he felt a great kinship to him. I have a wonderful picture of them in Iraq, one that comes to my mind everytime I pray for you all. He gave his very best to our country and for that I will be forever grateful. You all are in my thoughts and prayers, Love Tami Archuleta Emmett Idaho

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