Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army 1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin

51, of Kennebunk, Maine.
Coffin died on Highway 8 in Iraq when his vehicle ran into a ditch while trying to avoid a civilian vehicle. Coffin was assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Riverdale, Maryland. Died on July 1, 2003.

1st Sgt. Coffin with wife Betsy as they renewed their wedding vows, and with his dog Samantha

Poems written by Jon Heimbach in tribute to his Uncle Chris.


The families with Soldiers serving overseas
Know what it really means to grieve,
They lose their loved ones to a faraway war
Knowing they'll never again walk through the door,
Husbands, Fathers, Uncles all fall
Knowing they gave their country their all,
Never again will they get to see
The home of the Brave and the Land of the Free.

Copyright ©2003 Jon Heimbach

Death Of A Soldier

When an American Soldier falls to the ground
The death of a hero is mourned all around,
He fought for his country
And died for the free,
Losing his life to protect you and me.

Copyright ©2003 Jon Heimbach

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army 1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin.


Civil Affairs Unit Honors Fallen First Sergeant
Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"1st. Sgt. Coffin,
Sir, as a fellow veteran and Federal LEO I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF but also for your service in Kosovo as well. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike C. of El Paso, Texas

"I don't really know how to say this, but a I was there when your husband passed away. Its kindof haunted me for the past 8 years. I just wanted to tell you I tried like heck to resuscitate him, and its just for whatever reason been really hard to forget. I just needed to say that. I wish we could have brought him back to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
Sgt. Clinton Gross of Spokane, Wa

"Mrs. Coffin,

I served with 1st Sergent Chris Coffin during the Iraq deployment in 2003. I just wanted you to know that he is not forgotten by the soldiers who proudly served with him. He is very much alive in my memory. A few years ago you sent a Chris Coffin memorial pin to me. Thank you, that meant a lot to me."
SFC James Folds (Retired) of Florida

I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF, but also for your service in Kosovo as well. And to your family and loved ones, i wish to extend my deepest sympathy."


We never met, but I was on the Somerville High School Fencing Team from 1967-71 where I had the privilege and pleasure of being a teammate of both Chris and older brother Tom (and also knowing Devon and Connie). I'll always remember Chris for his good cheer and undying, free spirit in the face of adversity (and being on the Somerville High School Fencing Team in those days guaranteed you quite a bit of adversity). I cannot picture Chris without a smile on his face -- he always took everything in stride: a tough loss, a win, a bad call, and the never ending stream of criticisms from our coach (who was a teddy bear at heart).

I do not doubt for a second that his courage and pluck made him a soldier that his comrades always looked up to.

I am very sorry for your loss."
Glenn Pantel of Mendham, NJ

"Betsy, I don't think that you and I ever met, but I knew Chris quite well a long time ago when he had an apartment in Pluckemin, NJ. He taught me rock climbing at Ralph Stover State Park in PA, and we were great friends for several years. I think of him often, and drove past his family home on Old York Road earlier this week while I was in NJ on business. I had heard a rumor of Chris's death, but just recently found this website. It's hard to believe that almost five years have gone by.... Please accept my heartfelt condolences. bruce@GladstoneEFP.com"
Bruce Anderson of Richmond, VA

There aren't too many days that I don't think of Chris. I still see his smile.
He was my concience...... I miss him"
CSM Ron Lamm 6-68 Armor of Leesport,PA

"February 8, 2008
To the family of 1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin:
Christopher gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Christopter Coffin,
I never saw, or talk to you in this life, but I feel as if I know you. For we share the same last name, not a common one by all means, but an honorable one. Rest in peace fallen brother."
G.A. Coffin of Medford, Or U.S.A.

As we approach the 4th anniversary of Chris' death, his loss continues to cause me great sorrow, as I know it does you as well. I first met Chris in passing when he was with HHC/6-68 AR and I was with C/6-68. But it was when we were together in the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, that our bond really formed. We had a great relationship as commander/first sergeant and as friends when we were both with D Co. Our bond was solid because we shared the same views on leadership, we shared the same views on challenging our soldiers in training, yet taking the best care of them that we could. We also shared the secret law enforcement handshake from Chris' time with the NPS Rangers and DoD Police and my time with the NJSP. All of these things made us brothers as well as fellow soldiers. I was honored to have had the opportunity to have served with Chris and to know him. Thank you for sharing him with us! I was honored to have been able to hopefully give you some solace in trying to find the answers on what really happened to him. And I can't describe to you the regret that I have to this day that after he was promoted to E-8 that we were not able to find some way to keep him in the 404th. He loved serving that unit as did I. But it was time for him to have his leadership potential recognized. At least that's what the organizational chart managers in USACAPOC said. I will remember Chris and his sacrifice all of my days. And Betsy, I will remember your loss all of those days at the same time. I wish God's blessings upon you. And again, thanks from the bottom of my heart for sharing Chris with us all!!"
Harry Schute of Maple Shade, NJ

"Mrs. Coffin,
I think of you, your husband and Samantha often. I hope you are well. All my best to you."
Maria Vandis of Boston, MA


Not a day goes by when I haven't thought of Chris and his selfless service. I hope you are doing as well as can be expected. I saw your name come up on a search I did for a book on Iraqi Freedom, prompting me to write this email.

Contact me at your convienence - I think Chris would like to have us check in from time to time. My email is Steven.Patarcity@us.army.mil.

God Bless You.

COL Steve Patarcity of Pittsburgh, PA

"My condolances to the wife and family of Chris Coffin on this Memorial Day. I briefly meet 1SG Coffin in Kuwait in early April 2003 as we all prepared to enter Iraq. He made a lasting impression on me with his oversized smile and gregarious nature"
Mark Huang of NYC

"I knew 1SG Coffin while we were in Kuwait ready to head North to Baghdad. I only knew him for a short while, but he struck me as a great NCO who always had the interests of his soldiers in mind. I was devastated when I heard of his death. May these messages bring his family some solace."
MAJ John Ready of Oneida, NY

"I received a hero bracelet with Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin's name on it yesterday. I had no idea who he was or what he did, other that he was in the army, and the date he left this world. I felt compelled to find out more about this man, and I found this site. Seeing his photo affected me more than I ever thought it would.

I want to send my deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. I also would like to send my most sincere gratitude to Sgt. Coffin, his solidiers, and everyone who is in the position to give the ulitmate sacrifice. People like me who for whatever reason didn't serve will never have any idea what they are experiencing and we should remember that.

Thank you to Sgt. Christopher Coffin, and to all those who serve alongside our heros and comfort them when they fall."
of Worthington, Ohio

"Betsy, I am so sorry to have heard of your loss. Please remember that you and your family are in my prayers. We think of you often. Ray sends his best. Please take care and if there is anything I can do, please let me know."
Jeff Martell of Kittery, Maine

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

I served with Tanker in Kosovo in 2001. He was the best NCO I have ever had the honor to serve with. I saw him at Bragg and in Baghdad when we were both there. He was always trying to make the best of a bad situation and tried to cheer me up after a real bad week. I will always admire him and his professionalism.
We spoke briefly of our loved ones and he told me how happy he was with you and how much he loved you. I am so sorry for your loss and wish you the best. Tanker will always be remembered by the soldiers he served with.
Please try not to worry about the differing stories of his death. Just remember he died doing something he loved, soldiering, and that many soldiers are better people after serving with him. We will all miss him dearly.
LTC Ed Fullmer of Media, Pa

"Dear Mrs. Coffin, I am honored to be sewing a Marine Comfort Quilt for you, in honor of your husband. I was visiting this site to find out more about him. Reading about his life brought tears to my eyes. He was a hero in life as well as in death. May the Lord bring you comfort. You are in my prayers."
Jori Hazen of Richmond, TX

"God Bless you and keep you. I am reading through this memorial and find many of my sister unit soldiers have fallen and it gives me a heavy heart. I was a psyoper, we went through training with civil affairs and often worked together. They are good, compassionate soldiers and will be missed."
Clint Deriemaeker of Coon Rapids, MN

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Christopher, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Sergeant Coffin, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"Mrs. Coffin & Family,
Though I didn't know Chris long, I immediately liked him. We served together as DOD Police Officers at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He was a consummate professional, and had a quick intelligence & sense of humor. We used to joke about wanting to be "dentists" in the land of misfit toys! I imagine he was an exceptional Park Ranger as well as soldier. I have no words to express my sorrow at your loss. I know he loved you very much, and can only hug my children tighter, and offer my heartfelt prayers. God Bless."
John P. Ray of Strafford, New Hampshire

"To 1st Sgt. Coffin's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your Christopher was taken from you. There is no doubt his thoughts were of you as he served with the Army in Iraq. We will never forget. You are in our hearts. (1/27/04)"
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida

"I wish to extend my condolences to the family of Chris Coffin-a family that touched my life many, many years ago at the Old York School-and to let them know that his sacrifice will not be forgotten. He was a wonderful person that I was privileged to know from my school days. I was deeply saddened when I learned of his death and I only hope that my brief note confirms that Chris will be remembered as a genuine hero and a super nice guy."
Scott Egerton of Iowa City, Iowa, USA

"Thank you Christopher Coffin, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios


"Chris, you were always a "can do" guy, even back in Somerville High School (New Jersey). I'm proud to have known you and know that you will be missed."
Ted Bell of Bridgewater, NJ USA

"To the family of 1SG Coffin, as a soldier that had the chance to serve under 1SG Coffin in both Kuwait and Iraq, I would like to say thank-you for the sacrifice that Top made and the awesome impact that he has had on my life. Mrs Coffin, my deepest sympathy to you, your husband was a great man and a great leader. Top youll be greatly missed and I thank you for always listening, and understanding"
SGT Dennis Henley of Mt. Airy, MD USA

"Kit, may you rest in peace. All my love, K"

"I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to offer their support and condolences on the loss of my husband, 1st Sgt. Christopher Coffin, and to honor his memory. Chris would be deeply touched as am I. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Chris was a wonderful husband, friend and soldier and I miss him terribly but it helps to know others care and will always remember him.

A special thanks to Colonel Patarcity and Jeff Little, friends of Chris' from the 6th battalion, 68th Armor. Please know that Chris valued your friendships and fondly remembered your tanker days together. Jeff, Chris was always happy when you two could talk and catch up and Col. Patarcity, Chris was thrilled when he had the chance to visit with you in Kuwait. I haven't been able to locate your addresses or I would have written to you directly. Take care of yourselves!"
Betsy Coffin of Kennebunk, Maine

"Chris was my section sergeant during my 6 years in the 6th Battalion, 68 Armor. I learned a great deal from him over the years. He will be missed."
Jeff Lyttle of Franklin Park, NJ

"God bless you Chris. God bless your family. The ultimate sacrifice has been made by you and your family. I thank you and your family for protecting my freedoms. I served for 20, Active Army, and understand the loneliness and pain. Again, God bless and I will pray for you, your military brothers and sisters and above all your family!!!!!"
SFC (Ret.) Shawn Day of Norwich, CT/USA

"I knew Chris Coffin well and served with him in the 6th Battalion, 68th Armor for many years. Rest in Peace, Chris. Rolling Thunder."
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Patarcity, US Army of Coraopolis, PA/USA

""To the family and friends of 1st Sgt. Christopher Coffin: We would like to send great thanks for the services that Christopher provided for us and our Country. He is a great Hero and deserves the highest honors. THANK YOU"
Rob M. of Salt Lake City, Utah

"To the family and friends of 1st Sgt. Christopher Coffin:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Christopher for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of 1st Sgt. Christopher Coffin:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Christopher, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on