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WILSON, Okla. – A Carter County family is mourning the loss of one of their own. A Wilson soldier has become the latest casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom, killed when an IED exploded near his humvee.
Now his family is remembering him for the strength and courage he's been known for since birth.
Army Specialist Clinton Coy Blodgett was just 19 years old when he lost his life fighting for our freedom.
His father said at first he wanted to mourn his son's loss alone, but now he's speaking out so his soldier and so many others can receive the tribute they deserve.
3,450 men and women have paid the ultimate price defending our country in Iraq. When one of those casualties becomes a hometown face, that number brings on newer meaning.
"(Coy) wasn't scared of anything, warrior by time got here, till he left," said Coy’s father, Don Blodgett.
When Coy Blodgett enlisted in the infantry at age 17, he knew life wasn't always a given, but he did it anyway.
"When signed up knew had chance of dying but did it anyway, what's there not to be proud of," said Coy’s brother, D.J.
Coy had been in Iraq for more than a year as a member of the 18th infantry based in Germany, but in march he was able to come home to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
The family spent the short time they had doing what coy loved most: fishing, riding four wheelers, and shooting rifles.
It's that picture of him with a smile on his face they'll remember most.
"We all have a job, his was more important. Man at 19, my kids’ hero."
While times like these would force even the strongest Americans to turn their back on the war, the Blodgetts are doing the opposite.
They say honor to country and faith in God will see them through the unthinkable.
The Blodgett’s are a true military family. Coy's dad served in the Oklahoma National Guard during the Persian Gulf War.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.