Ringgold soldier killed in Afghanistan
RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY (WRCB) – A soldier from Ringgold has died in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Edward Koehler, 47, and two other soldiers in his unit were killed July 18 in the Ghazni province Afghanistan.
A release from the Department of Defense says Sergeant Koehler's convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).
Sergeant Koehler was a member of the 131st Transportation Company of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, but lived with his family in Ringgold, Georgia.
The DOD release notes that Sergeant Koehler was originally from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He served as US Marine from 1982-1988.
Sergeant Koehler's wife also found ways to serve her county by volunteering her time to coordinate the family readiness program. She is originally from Ringgold, Georgia.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these brave young men who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this country," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. "This tragic incident is a stark reminder of the dangers our troops face on a daily basis for the cause of freedom. We owe them our respect, our support and our gratitude."
Koehler was a 1982 graduate of Lebanon High School. After serving with the Marine Corps from 1982 to 1988, he took a 10-year break from service. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1997 as a motor transport operator, serving his entire Guard career in the 131st Transportation Company.
Koehler served with the 131st in Kuwait and Iraq from 2003 to 2004. His awards include the Combat Action Badge, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Driver and Mechanic Badge, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Governor's Unit Citation.
"As a former Marine noncommissioned officer, Edward Koehler was known for his impeccable military bearing and eagerness to challenge himself and those around him," said Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, Pennsylvania adjutant general. "When he was a private in the Marine Corps, Koehler took pride in playing Taps at the end of each day while his company was deployed to Diego Garcia. Unfortunately it is now our solemn duty to play Taps for him."
Sergeant Edward Koehler will be laid to rest in Ringgold, Georgia. Funeral arrangements are still be completed at this time.
Details as they become available on WRCBtv.com.