Gold Star mother reflects on son's sacrifice
May 27, 2019 08:34 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - On this Memorial Day, KOB spoke with a Gold Star family from Albuquerque. Gold Star families are those that lost a loved one while serving in a time of conflict.
Four Gold Star mothers were honored at a Veteran's Memorial Day ceremony in the Duke City Monday as hundreds gathered to honor those who died in battle.
"He was always the daredevil," said Mary Koehler, a Gold Star mother. "He was the one who climbed up everything, never had any fear."
Mary Koehler talked about her son, Corporal Gary A. Koehler with grace. She said Gary wanted to enlist in the Marines after the attacks on the World Trade Center. He was too young at the time, but later joined in 2003.
"He was deployed to Fallujah. He was in the Battle of the Fallujah. He was shot in the thigh," Koehler said.
But three weeks later her hero went back to Iraq. He was awarded a Purple Heart, and then went directly into sniper training.
"He was always the first guy, he was the point man," she said. "According to accounts, the men behind Gary heard him shout out the warning, 'IED.'"
The young man's last words alerted and saved his fellow marines, but Gary wasn't able to escape. He died at the age of 21.
"They sacrificed themselves so it's difficult," Koehler said.
All she wants people to know is that her son was always smiling, gave everything he had to others, and was a great friend.
Updated: May 27, 2019 08:34 PM
Created: May 27, 2019 03:31 PM
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