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Ultimate Sacrifice

Editorial for May 20, 2010

Klickitat County lost one of its own earlier this month, during combat operations halfway around the world.

On May 2, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Mark Coleman, a Centerville resident and Goldendale High School graduate, was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.

A memorial for Sgt. Coleman was held on May 15 -- Armed Forces Day. He was buried in the Centerville Cemetery.

Coleman was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group, an Airborne unit based at Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord. His Army career spanned 22 years, as he enlisted the same year that he graduated from high school -- 1988.

We didn't know Sgt. Coleman personally, yet we honor him as an American who gave his life in service to his country and to all of us. And as a Washington citizen and resident of Klickitat County, he will always be part of our greater community.

Sgt. Coleman's death at age 40 is a tragic reminder of the dangers the men and women serving in our military have been called upon to face -- and the sacrifices they have been called upon to make -- as our nation battles the evil of terrorism around the globe.

We honor Coleman's life of service, and extend our sincere condolences to members of his family and those who served with him.

As a commentary in Coleman's hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel, expressed in its May 13 edition: "For Mark, who gave what President Lincoln called `the last full measure of devotion,' there will never be enough honor bestowed upon him."

We wholeheartedly agree.

JB

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