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Kyle Coumas, of Lockeford, killed in action

22-year-old soldier dies in Afghanistan after IED attack

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Posted: Friday, October 23, 2009 12:00 am

A Lockeford soldier died Wednesday in Afghanistan when his vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device.

U.S. Army Spc. Kyle A. Coumas, 22, died in Kandahar province of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle, the U.S. Army and Department of Defense announced Thursday morning.

"I just talked to him two days ago on Facebook," said Danny Dunne, an English teacher at St. Mary's High School in Stockton, where Coumas graduated in 2005. "Two days later, he's gone. It's difficult to take."

Funeral services are pending.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged Coumas' death and announced that flags at the State Capitol in Sacramento will be flown at half-staff.

"Spc. Kyle Coumas was a courageous soldier who gave his life while fighting to protect our country," Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. "Californians will never forget Kyle's unwavering commitment to our nation, and we are forever indebted to his service. Maria and I send our thoughts and prayers to all of Kyle's loved ones."

The son of Michael and Lori Coumas, of Lockeford, Kyle Coumas began his tour of active duty in February 2007 and was assigned that June to Fort Lewis, Wash. He went to Afghanistan three months ago. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

"I remember him as very bright, a bit shy and reserved (as a sophomore)," Dunne said. "I had him again as a senior, and he opened up much more. I noticed he was much more mature than your average senior."

Dunne arrived at school Thursday morning and found an e-mail informing him of Coumas' death. Coumas was a student of Dunne's and was active in the school's Chess Club, which Dunne advised.

"At St. Mary's, we pray every day," Dunne said Thursday. "We did a special prayer for Kyle."

Even in his sophomore year, Dunne recalls, Coumas wanted to serve in the armed forces.

"His journal writing and drawings would be about the military," Dunne added.

Coumas earned awards and decorations, including the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Army Service Ribbon, according to a news release from Fort Lewis.

After Coumas graduated from St. Mary's, he and Dunne became friends. With four daughters, Dunne considered Coumas a surrogate son. They corresponded regularly by e-mail and through the Facebook social networking site.

"He was doing pretty well," Dunne said. "He seemed to be proud of what he was doing. He was happy."

Kyle Coumas at a glance

The following is information Kyle Coumas posted on his MySpace page:
— Interests: "Besides the Army life? Video games, women, sci-fi/fantasy books, action flicks."
— Books: "Harry Potter," "Wheel of Time," "Warhammer 40,000" books, "Star Wars" novels.
— Heroes: "Han Solo, hands down. Nobody beats his quick wit, quick draw, style of dress and the rest of his scoundrel traits."
News-Sentinel staff

Before attending high school, Coumas attended Mokelumne River School in Acampo before transferring to Century Christian School in Lodi for seventh grade.

Coumas was a close friend of Matthew Aguire of Galt. They attended Mokelumne River School and carpooled to St. Mary's, according to Liz Aguire, Matthew's mother.

"He was very serious about what he was doing — a nice kid who would give the shirt off his back," Liz Aguire said. "I still think of him as a kid."

Coumas performed in the band at St. Mary's and enjoyed competing in an annual band tournament at Disneyland, she said.

Liz Aguire and her son would visit Coumas at Fort Lewis whenever they visited Aguire's mother nearby. They would pick Coumas up at the base and take him to Aguire's mother's home.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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14 comments:

  • posted at 2:27 am on Thu, Oct 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    AMEN, Lucefamily4!

     
  • posted at 7:50 pm on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Dear family and friends of SPC Kyle Coumas, I can’t begin to imagine how you must be feeling nor express enough gratitude for your sacrifice. For military families, worry is a part of daily living, “proud” just doesn’t say enough and support is in short supply. Honor is something no one can take away, not from Kyle, his friends or his family. Honor is a privilege, a privilege that has been earned! As an Army wife, whose husband is active duty currently on his 6th tour of combat, I can say with certainty, SPC Kyle Coumas has thousands of brothers and sisters who will never forget his courage, selfless service, commitment, passion and ultimate sacrifice. After reading the articles and comments posted by others, it seems that Kyle was doing what he had wanted to do for a long time and took pride in his choice to serve. I hope that all of you will find some comfort during this difficult time, by seeing the support from the community and those of us who are also part of your family, your military family. My heart goes out to all who knew Kyle. HOOAH!

     
  • posted at 4:16 pm on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Dear Neo, i cant say how inappropriate it is to leave an opinion like yours on an article about my friends death. But also i need to point out that he died so you can state your opinion where ever you feel the need to. Please realize there are better places for political opinions then here. With that said, Kyle i have known you since I moved across the street when I was two. You were an exceptional person. You will be missed by all who were lucky to have known you. I will always remember the fun times we had, I know many people that grew up with you have been hit hard by this. We will all feel your absence from this world. My heart and soul goes out to you and your family.

     
  • posted at 2:40 pm on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    SportsGuru, You say we need more men like Kyle, this country does have men that are proud to serve in the military. I can speak from the heart since my grandson is in the Navy aboard the USS Normandy, and at the beginning of the year will be headed to the waters off Afganistan. He tells me he is proud to serve and I am proud of him for serving his country like his grandfather did. I hope I never have to feel the pain of Kyle Coumas family, he serves aboard HIS ship with honor.

     
  • posted at 10:22 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    .We need more young men like Kyle, willing to fight the good fight and not only preserve freedom here at home - but provide the opportunity of freedom to those that have not been graced with such elsewhere in the world.

     
  • posted at 9:35 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    On behalf of my family, Spc. Kyle Coumas, thank you for your courage and your sacrifice. God Bless You.

     
  • posted at 9:05 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    This is so very sad and my heart goes out to his family - my son served two tours of duty over there and I am always so very thankful for those soldiers who are giving their lives for our country - and honor those and their families whose sons and daughters make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I am sorry for your loss.

     
  • posted at 9:03 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    My Familys heart and prayers go out to Kyle and his Family, Peace and prayers

     
  • posted at 7:06 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Our prayers are with his family at this difficult time.Spc Kyle will never be forgotten

     
  • posted at 6:28 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    So young, honorable and brave. Thank you, Spc. Coumas. My deepest sympathy and prayers to your family and friends. God bless you.

     
  • posted at 5:46 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    How in debt we are to the men and women and all the families who put our freedoms before their lives. He is such a special and brave person.

     
  • posted at 4:48 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    God Bless You, Spc. Coumas. Thank you for your courage, honor, and commitment to our country. May you rest in peace and may God hold your family in his arms now and forever.

     
  • posted at 1:58 am on Fri, Oct 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Rest in Peace my brother, we will continue the fight. Mission First, Soldiers Always.

     
  • posted at 11:25 pm on Thu, Oct 22, 2009.

    Posts:

    Spc Kyle Coumas gave the ultimate sacrifice for all our freedoms in this country. His courage demonstrated honor which will now reap the ultimate reward, the medal of heavenly paradise. God Bless his family for their loss. I am truly certain that Kyle now serves as a soldier in heaven watching over us.

     

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