Crisp County mourns the death of young Marine - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crisp County mourns the death of young Marine

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

CORDELE, GA (WALB) –South Georgia is mourning the loss of another military son. 21-year old Coty Sockalosky, a Marine from Cordele, died Wednesday from wounds he suffered in an explosion in Afghanistan Friday.

Although he was young, he made a lasting impression of several people.

SFC Cooper says he can't get his former JROTC student Coty Sockalosky off his mind. So this morning he wrote a special message on the board, as a reminder of Coty's mission and the sacrifice he made as a Marine to other JROTC students, "We fully understand what we are getting into when we sign on the dotted line, but no one expects this, it touched me deeply," said SFC Cooper.

Coty was wounded last week in an IED blast in Afghanistan. The 21-year old died from his injuries yesterday in Germany. "We all have our number and unfortunately it was just Sockalosky's number, we can't question God," said Cooper.

But Sockalosky died a Marine, something he always wanted to be. "From the moment I met him, he was about joining the Marines and being a good Marine," said his former teacher Brandi Reid.

And teachers have the paperwork to prove it, today Cooper pulled out a list of Sockalosky's goals in high school. "At the time they were going to the military, raising a family and one of the most unique things I found in this packet was that he wanted to get closer to God," said Cooper.

And before his death, teachers say he achieved those goals. "Prior to graduating high school he already had a ship date and everything was set up for him to join the United States Marines. 

He married his high school sweetheart Brittany. "They talked about getting married after he went into the military which they did," said Reid.

And he even developed a closer relationship with God. "Coty was a practical person and for him religion was not something you practiced one day a week but something you incorporated into your everyday life," said former teacher Roy Gibbs.

While he didn't have a long life, he had a full life and he died a true American hero.

Coty graduated from Crisp County High School in 2007. His wife and mother traveled to Germany to be with him after he was wounded. The family has not made funeral arrangements.

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