Shawn Michael Coolidge

U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Fort Hood

February 17, 2011



Sergeant First Class Shawn M. Coolidge served as Platoon Sergeant for 1st Platoon,
Company D 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry, during the Battalion's deployment to Iraq 2008-2009



Operational Test Command

Sergeant 1st Class Shawn Michael Coolidge, 40, whose home of record is Lake Placid, N.Y., was found dead in his residence Feb. 17 in Killeen.
Coolidge entered active-duty service in June 1991 as an M1 armor crewman. He had been assigned to the U.S. Army Operational Test Command,
Fort Hood, since December 2010.

He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from November 2005 to November 2006 and from March 2008 to March 2009.

Coolidge’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal,
five Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals,
Korean Defense Service Medal, two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars,
the Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,
Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon with numeral three, Army Service Ribbon, three Army Overseas Service Ribbons,
Kuwait Liberation Medal, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Combat Action Badge and Driver and Mechanic Badge.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.

Fort Hood Sentinel



SFC Shawn Coolidge's decorations


Shawn is also eligible to receive the Conspicuous Service Cross
from the State of New York






Shawn Coolidge in Iraq with children


Shawn Coolidge was born December 17, 1970 in New York, New York. He died on February 17, 2011, at the age of 40,
at his home in Killeen, Texas, a casualty of the PTSD with which he battled for years.

Shawn graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1989 and entered into active service with the United States Army in June, 1991
as a M1 armor crewman. At the time of his death he was a Sergeant First Class, assigned to the United States Army
Operational Test Command at Fort Hood, Texas.

Shawn’s service included tours of duty in Iraq from November 2005 to November 2006 and from March 2008 to March 2009.

His many military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal,
five Army Commendation medals and seven Army Achievement Medals. Among his assignments was as a Drill Sergeant.

A Memorial Service was held on February 25 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.
Present were the Patriot Guard Riders to form a line of American flags around the memorial shelter.

The Patriot Guard lines the Memorial Shelter of SFC Coolidge with American flags


The service commenced with Army Chaplain Captain Rittmaster telling Chuck Norris jokes, as Shawn was a great fan of Chuck Norris jokes.
One such joke: Chuck Norris doesn’t have to reset his clock in the spring and fall, because the sun rises and sets in Chuck Norris.

Captain Rittmaster then spoke of Shawn’s pain and suffering, and of how he could no longer live with it.

Captain Rittmaster led the gathered family, friends and fellow soldiers in the recitation of the 23rd Psalms. He concluded the service with:
“Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes,
dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The United States Army Honor Guard then rendered full military honors. The detail of seven rifles standing in the dappled shade of live oak trees,
fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country. The Army bugler, standing on the hill above,
played taps, as all present stood at attention.

The Honor Guard waits to fire a salute


Six members of the Honor Guard then carefully unfolded the American flag that had rested against Shawn’s Urn,
and refolded it into the traditional triangle, as is the custom when there is no coffin for the flag to drape.

The folded flag was then presented to an Army Staff Sergeant, who then passed it to Major General Genaro Dellarocco,
Commanding General of the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

General Dellarocco presented the flag to Shawn’s dear wife, Jennifer, on behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army
and a grateful nation in thanks for Shawn’s many years of dedicated service to his country.

General Dellarocco also presented flags to Shawn’s son, Jarred, daughter, Makensee and to Shawn’s mother.

SFC Shawn M. Coolidge was then laid to rest in a special area at the base of the hill, as the American flag flew at half-staff above in his honor.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife and children, his parents, many other family and friends, and multitudes of fellow soldiers.

The family requests that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project,


The lone bugler stands at attention, ready to play Taps for SFC Coolidge


“Always and everywhere, we live with personal remembrances of devoted loved ones and, under God, render thanks and Praise to Him
for the promise of everlasting life. This truth is perceived by us on a day to day basis as we note the sacrificial acts and personal commitment of our Veterans.
Their upholding of such essential values as liberty and justice, individual dignity and national righteousness, ennobles the life of each of us.
Through their example we move toward eternity with faith, charity, courage and hope.

The line of life between birth and immortality is one of no certain length. In considering this, as we bid farewell to this honored,
respected Veteran, may we be ever more thoughtful, grateful and humble before our Creator as we all await our heavenly reunion.”
Author unknown

The above photos and narration from
Marine Major One blogspot




The special message posted by LTC Clay Padgett, Commander 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
in the Regular Post February 2011








Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery
Bell County
Texas, USA
Plot: Sec 18 Row H Site 188


Grave marker for Shawn Michael Coolidge

Photo by Cindy Coffell from the Find A Grave website












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