Monday, July 18, 2011

Army Sgt. Edward W. Koehler

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Edward W. Koehler, 47, of Lebanon, Pa.

Sgt Koehler was assigned to 131st Transportation Company, 213th Area Support Group, Pennsylvania National Guard, Williamstown, Pa., died July 18, 2011 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his convoy with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. VanGiesen and Army Sgt. Brian K. Mowery.

Sgt Koehler graduated from Lebanon High School in 1982. He served six years in the Marines, took 10 year break and enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1997 as a motor transport operator.

This was Sgt. Koehler's first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had also served with the 131st in Kuwait and Iraq.

In civilian life, he was a long-haul trucker delivering goods across the country. After marrying his wife, Cheryl, Koehler moved to Georgia. Wanting to stay with and retire from the unit rather than transfer, Koehler drove more than 680 miles each way for monthly training the year before the 131st deployed. After Koehler deployed in November, Cheryl continued to make the trip as president of the company’s family readiness group

“He was a wonderful person to be around,” Lt Col McHugh said. “When you were deployed and missing home he was the kind that always made you smile. He was always joking and laughing. Generally there’s a handful of people you truly remember and can visualize. He’s one of those guys.”

“As a former Marine noncommissioned officer, Edward Koehler was known for his impeccable military bearing and eagerness to challenge himself and those around him,” said Maj. Gen. Craig. “When he was a private in the Marine Corps, Koehler took pride in playing Taps at the end of each day while his company was deployed to Diego Garcia. Unfortunately it is now our solemn duty to play Taps for him.”

The family of Sgt. Edward Koehler released the following statement:

"The family would like to express their appreciation for the heartfelt condolences and prayers. Please know this thoughtfulness is providing much needed comfort. Continue to pray for all of our troops and their safety. Their daily sacrifices must not go unnoticed."

Sgt Koehler's awards include:

Purple Heart
Combat Action Badge
Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals (3)
Army Achievement Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals
Driver and Mechanic Badge
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Governor’s Unit Citation

Sgt Koehler was laid to rest in Anderson Memorial Gardens in Ringgold, GA.

Sgt Koehler is survived by his mother, Ruthie Koehler; wife, Cheryl, three daughters, Shelby, Tobi and Kayla; two sisters, Elaine and Nicole.

Army Sgt. Edward W. Koehler was killed in action on 7/18/11.

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