Monday, April 4, 2011

James J. Coon, Army, Private 1st Class -- Rest In Peace

James J. Coon, 22

Army, Private 1st Class
Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 4, 2007
Balad, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Walnut Creek
High School: Las Lomas High (Walnut Creek)
I knew Jim when he dated my roommate before he deployed to Iraq.
He was so full of life and always kept us laughing. he loved my cat and wantd to take him to Iraq! i will never forget him. He is missed by his friends in Texas.
— kathryn gribble
December 22, 2009 at 10:40 p.m.
The 22-year-old Army specialist from the San Francisco Bay Area city of Walnut Creek was killed April 4 while on patrol in Balad, north of Baghdad.

The Department of Defense initially listed his cause of death as a roadside bomb explosion. But a colonel in Coon's unit called the family last week from Iraq to explain that their son had been shot in the head.

The soldier's father, Jim, described his son as an outgoing youth who loved hip-hop music and dancing, and excelled in football and darts. Coon had won a national steel-tip dart championship in 2001 and traveled to England as a 16-year-old to represent the United States. He finished fifth.

At 6 feet 6, with a size 14 1/2 shoe, Coon also was a punter on his high school and college football teams. His real love, his father said, was popping wheelies on his motorcycle.

"He was a good athlete as tall as he was," his father said. "He could ride his motorcycle doing a wheelie from one county to the next, even using one hand.

"He was a happy-go-lucky and free-spirited kid without a care in the world. He made friends very easily. It was uncanny how easily he could do that."
In [an] e-mail to his family, Coon wrote of a lingering depression. "I wanna come home so bad. I don't wanna play Army anymore," he wrote.

Jim Coon said he saw his son in February during a military leave. He will remember him as a big, strapping boy who had yet to figure out a direction in life.

"In his last e-mail, he said he'd die for his brothers, as he called them," his father said. "My boy didn't go down without a fight."

He said that he recently read an entry on his son's website in which he wrote: "My dad is for sure my hero. He is also my best friend."

Said his father: "When I saw that, it tore me up."

In addition to his father, Coon is survived by his stepmother, Marie Coon; two half sisters, Roxanna Coon and Samantha Lares; and his grandparents, Jack and Janet Stahl of Fairfield, Calif.
Do read the entire LA Times article about Army Private 1st Class James Jack Coon here, f
ind more here and visit Private Coon's Guest Book.
The casket of Army Pfc. James J. Coon is brought to Civic Park during a funeral service in Walnut Creek, Calif
Army specialist James Coon, from California, who died in an explosion in Iraq, sits astride a motorbike with the words: 'Enjoy the ride'
Read about the poster here.

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