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Army Pfc. Grant A. Cotting

Died January 24, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Corona, Calif.; assigned to the 515th Sapper Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; died Jan. 24 in Kut, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.

Soldier was based at Wood

The Associated Press

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Department of Defense says a 19-year-old California soldier has died from injuries from a non-combat related incident in Kut, Iraq.

The department announced Jan. 27 that Pvt. Grant A. Cotting of Corona died Jan. 24.

He was assigned to the 515th Sapper Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Cotting enjoyed video, role-playing games

The Associated Press

Grant A. Cotting’s former classmate and neighbor, Ryan McQuilkin, said Cotting was like a brother to him for about 10 years.

Cotting had talked about a military career for years and enlisted about a year ago, shortly after graduation. “I’m really proud of him,” McQuilkin said. “He did what he wanted to do.”

He described his friend as “geeky” and said Cotting liked to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons, which they played every weekend for almost five years.

Cotting, 19, of Corona, Calif., died Jan. 24 in Kut, Iraq, of wounds from non-combat causes. He was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood.

Cotting’s high school counselor, Martha Santos, called him respectful and inspirational. “He was a quiet student and mostly kept to himself,” she said. “He seemed like the type who was very loyal.”

Pollard Principal Mike Ridgway said Cotting was in ROTC his senior year of high school and planning on a military career. “We are all saddened by his loss,” Ridgway said.

Cotting is survived by his parents, Craig and Amanda.

“He will really be missed,” Amanda Cotting said. “Don’t take anyone for granted.”

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