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Army Pvt. Bradli N. Coleman

Died May 30, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


19, of Ford City, Pa.; assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died May 30 in Baghdad from injuries sustained on May 29 when mortar rounds hit his living quarters in Mosul, Iraq.

Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq mortar attack

Associated Press

FORD CITY, Pa. — A 19-year-old soldier from western Pennsylvania who had been in the Army for only eight months died Sunday from wounds sustained in a mortar attack Saturday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, defense officials said.

Pvt. Brad Coleman, from Ford City, was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., according to defense officials. Coleman, who worked nights, apparently was asleep in his barracks when the mortar hit, said his father, Donald Coleman.

“He was in for eight months total, including boot camp. Brad didn’t get a lot of a chance,” Donald Coleman said.

The oldest of three children, Brad Coleman continued what had become a family tradition of military service, his father said. Donald Coleman served in the Navy and his father had been in the Navy during the Korean War. Brad Coleman’s great-grandfather fought in the Philippines during World War II and his great-great-grandfather fought in Europe during World War I, his father said.

“Brad is the only one of us who hasn’t come home,” he said.

The father and son sent e-mails to one another almost daily; Donald Coleman had his clock set to Iraqi time so he could talk to his son when his duties ended. His family routinely sent care packages with beef jerky and microwave soups. The last package was mailed Friday.

Brad Coleman had recently adopted a dog he found wandering the streets in Iraq, a companion like the three German short-haired pointers he left behind stateside, his father said.

Unlike his father, he took a camera rather than a rifle on hunting trips because he didn’t like to shoot animals. He joined the Army hoping to be trained in office management and finances and worked in the tactical operations center in Mosul, Donald Coleman said.

Brad Coleman had talked about making a career of the military but also mentioned becoming a college football coach, his father said.

“As kids go, Brad was very personable, well-liked. He played football and wrestled for a time,” said Vincent Curren, principal of Elderton High School, where Coleman graduated last year along with his younger brother, Nathan, 18.

“He had found himself and really seemed to be excited to be doing what he was doing,” Curren said.

He is survived by his father, his brother and a sister.


Soldier from Ford City buried

KITTANNING, Pa. — A 19-year-old from western Pennsylvania who had been in the Army for only eight months before he was killed in Iraq was remembered as a well-liked man who loved nature, animals and sports, and was quick to smile.

Pvt. Brad Coleman, from Ford City, was buried Thursday in a cemetery on top of a hill not far from his hometown.

The oldest of three children, Coleman continued what had become a family tradition of military service, dating back to World War I, according to his family.

Coleman was a member of the Fort Lewis, Wash.-based 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. He died May 30 of injuries suffered when a mortar hit his barracks in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

During his funeral at the Emmanuel Heilman Lutheran Church Cemetery, mourners — including members of his high school football team — remembered him for his cheeriness and his smile.

“Brad was the kind of young man who walked in your room and made you glad he was there,” said the Rev. Arlene Schweitzer.

His mother, Sallie Coleman, remembered him for his love of animals. He had recently adopted a dog he found wandering the streets in Iraq, a companion like the three German short-haired pointers he left behind stateside.

As the funeral procession made its way to the cemetery, a Labrador dog ran alongside the hearse.

The family plans to plant an oak tree in the front yard of their home to remember Coleman.

— Associated Press

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