Saturday, June 09, 2007

Coy Blodgett laid to rest

WILSON -- Army Cpl. Clinton Coy Blodgett was eulogized Tuesday as an honorable young man who sacrificed his life willingly so that others may live.

Blodgett, 19, was killed May 26 in Baghdad, Iraq, when a bomb attached to a camera was thrown at a Humvee he and four other soldiers were riding in.

According to his family, Blodgett, who had been in Iraq for a year, blocked the bomb with his body so as to protect what he has always felt were his Army brothers.

The other four soldiers in the Humvee were injured, but they survived as a result of Blodgett's act of courage.

That's the way he was remembered Tuesday for the several hundred mourners who packed the Alexander Funeral Home chapel in this tiny Carter County community about 200 miles southwest of Tulsa.

Jimmy Morris, minister of the Church of Jesus Christ at nearby Ringling, called Blodgett a man of honor who rose to the defense of the innocent, his friends, his nation.

Morris likened Blodgett to King David, who was to carry the burden for others, and to take responsibility.

To that end, Morris said Blodgett wore a tattoo which read: "No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his fellow man."

Blodgett was home on leave in March, Morris noted, and the biggest thing on the young man's mind was to return to Iraq to be with his battle buddies.

"This young man has honored you," Morris told mourners, "more than you can ever honor him in return.

"This young man has honored this community, the towns around here, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, all of Oklahoma, our nation and the world through his defense of the innocent," the minister said.
Following the eulogy, mourners filed past the flag-draped coffin in final respect to a young man who has always wanted to be in the military.

During the service, they were treated to a slide show chronicling Blodgett's life -- as an infant, toddler, young boy, teenager; happier times around his family; at play, fishing and swimming; and riding four-wheelers, his passion.

A long line of cars and motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard formed the funeral procession following the silver hearse to Reck Cemetery, several miles west of Wilson.

Along Reck road, a narrow country lane, many rural residents waved flags and held up banners reading, "God Bless America." Mailboxes along the route bore flags and one farm tractor facing the road had an American flag hoisted high in the air.

As the hearse pulled into the small country cemetery, it was followed by Charles Blodgett Jr., who was riding a blue four-wheeler in honor of his older brother.

Morris again eulogized Blodgett at graveside.

His remarks were followed by a statement from Army Brig. Gen. Jeff Dorko of Dallas.

Dorko told mourners Blodgett exemplified the traits of a true soldier -- through his sense of duty, his loyalty, his respect and his courage.

He called Blodgett a selfless hero who died fighting for the freedoms he held dear.

"When you leave here under these sunny skies and enjoy all your freedoms," Dorko told mourners, "remember that they were bought with lives.

"I leave here today a better soldier for having known this patriot," Dorko said.

Blodgett was honored with a 21-gun salute from an Army honor guard from nearby Fort Sill. After the playing of taps, his family was presented with the folded flag that had covered his wooden casket.

Blodgett, who held the rank of specialist at the time of his death, was posthumously promoted to corporal. He also was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

From the Tulsa Daily World

Related Link:
Coy (Clinton C.) Blodgett dies 'when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device'