RIVERSIDE, CA, USA
PFC, 515TH ENGINEER COMPANY, 5TH ENGINEER BN, FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO
FOB DELTA, IRAQ 01/24/2009
Grant A. Cotting’s former classmate and neighbor, Ryan McQuilkin, said Cotting was like a brother to him for about 10 years. Cotting had talked about a military career for years and enlisted about a year ago, shortly after graduation. I’m really proud of him, McQuilkin said. He did what he wanted to do.
He described his friend as geeky and said Cotting liked to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons, which they played every weekend for almost five years.
Cotting, 19, of Corona, Calif., died Jan. 24 in Kut of wounds from non-combat causes. He was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood.
Cotting’s high school counselor, Martha Santos, called him respectful and inspirational. He was a quiet student and mostly kept to himself, she said. He seemed like the type who was very loyal.
Pollard Principal Mike Ridgway said Cotting was in ROTC his senior year of high school and planning on a military career. We are all saddened by his loss, Ridgway said.
Cotting, the oldest of five boys, was known for his patient nature and sense of humor. During basic training, friends say, his upbeat attitude made him an easy confidant to colleagues who struggled with being away from friends and family. Cotting served as a combat engineer, responsible for clearing roads and surrounding areas of improvised explosive devices.
Cotting is survived by his parents, Craig and Amanda.
He will really be missed, Amanda Cotting said. Don’t take anyone for granted.