PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Many stories emerge from war, especially when remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for their country. Nearly 4,500 Americans lost their lives will serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began ten years ago.
Army Corporal Brent Coleman left his mark as a phenomenal high school athlete in the late nineties. His former coach, Gene Davis recalls, "Heck of a football player, I thought he was the best running back we've had at pikeville high school."
A high caliber athlete but more importantly to Coach Davis a remarkable young man, "Not because he was a good football player but because of the type of person he was is what I want to remember."
Coleman became a hometown hero for what he did on the football field but it is what he did overseas in Iraq that he will forever be remembered for.
November 21, 2003, Corporal Coleman and two other soldiers were in their humvee chasing a vehicle they considered to be suspicious.
Davis explains, "His vehicle he was driving went off into one of those drainage ditches, and that's how he died, he drowned."
Coleman was one of the first Kentuckians killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Davis says, "We had other boys that went into the service out of the high school but Brent... was the one that sticks right here."
Davis says that is because, Coleman, not only made an impact on the football field but also on the lives of those who knew him ... as a hero for his country.
The Associated Press reports that 68 Kentuckians lost their lives while fighting in Iraq.