Soldier Honored: Gregory T. Copes
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant Gregory T. Copes, 36, of Lynch Station, Va., was assigned to the 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He served during Operation Enduring Freedom. On August 17, 2012, SSgt. Copes was killed while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.
A 1994 graduate of Hargrave Military Academy and 1999 graduate of Longwood University, SSgt. Copes worked for Carter Machining prior to enlisting. He enlisted in the Marines in 2003 after pouring over books, absorbing any information he could find about the military service and trying to identify which unit best suited him. SSgt. Copes’ deployment had him helping train local Afghans and police on how to protect themselves. His decorations include a Purple Heart, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and two Good Conduct Medals.
“Greg was an amazing father and husband. When he wasn’t deployed or away at training, he was at home helping around the house, playing outside with the kids and sharing his love of hunting, camping, and exploring the woods with the kids,” his wife said. “He always made sure that if he was away for our birthdays or anniversary, he sent us gifts to make sure our day was special.”
All four of the Copes children are Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients.