LOCKFORD, CA, US
SPC, CO A, 1ST BN, 17TH INFANTRY, 5TH SBCT, FORT LEWIS, WA
08/22/2010, KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
“His selfless duty to his country came as little surprise to those who knew him. His earliest act of service began in 2003 when our family sponsored a platoon serving in Iraq. Kyle would pass out flyers in our neighborhood asking family, friends, neighbors and local businesses to help support our troops.” Michael and Lori Coumas, parents
From the Los Angeles Times article by Cara Mia DiMassa
Kyle A. Coumas was drawn to anything that involved adventure, said his high school English teacher, Danny Dunne.
Perhaps it was destiny for a boy who was named after a heroic figure in the first “Terminator” movie. His parents adored the character of Kyle Reese, a resistance fighter and the father of John Connor, the hero of the later Terminator movies, and they chose Reese’s first name for their only son.
In high school, Coumas enjoyed reading “Beowulf” — drawn to the story of the hero and ancient warrior. For a homecoming dance, he dressed up as Indiana Jones.
“He liked adventurous kinds of things,” Dunne said. “He was interested in warfare, though it wasn’t in a negative way.”
Dunne, who also was Coumas’ chess club advisor and the father of one of his classmates at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, stayed in touch with Coumas as he grew from a quiet, reserved teenager into a focused, mature man. They corresponded on Facebook after Coumas deployed to Afghanistan in July.
Coumas’ parents, Greg and Lori Coumas, explained in a Lodi-News Sentinel article. “Despite all our efforts to steer you in the direction we wanted for you, you chose your own path. We wanted you safe and secure. You needed to make sure everyone else was safe and secure. And, by doing so, you far exceeded any and all of our expectations.”