Soldier Honored: Gregory T. Copes
Hometown: Lynch Station, Virginia
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant (SSG) Gregory Copes, 36, grew up in Lynch Station, Virginia, attended Hargrave Military Academy, and graduated from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Prior to joining the U. S. Marines he worked at Carter Machining in Lynchburg, Virginia. SSG Copes was assigned to 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion (MARSOC), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He began his deployment to Afghanistan in January 2012 and was scheduled to return to the U.S. in September. On August 17, 2012, SSG Copes, along with a Navy Hospital Corpsman, was killed while supporting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan. He was a great Marine and an even better father, who was loved by all those who served with him.
An avid outdoorsman, SSG Copes also loved music and sports. “He always loved to go out and throw the football and stuff,” said his older brother Earl. He knew from a young age that he wanted to serve in the military. The events of September 11, 2001 caused SSG Copes to officially enlist in the Marine Corps. He served all over the world, including tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
SSG Copes is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons. All of his children are Folds of Honor Children’s Fund scholarship recipients.