Highway renamed for Damascus hero killed in action - KPTV - FOX 12

Highway renamed for Damascus hero killed in action

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Keaton Coffey Keaton Coffey
DAMASCUS, OR (KPTV) -

A busy highway in Clackamas County is being renamed for a young United States Marine Corps corporal from Damascus, who was killed in the line of duty in 2012.

Keaton Coffey was just 22 years old and six weeks away from his wedding, when he was killed in Afghanistan.

He was on his second tour of duty with a special operations regiment called the Marine Raiders, and led a K-9 in searching for explosives.  The Department of Defense said he died during combat operations.

Friday morning, his friends and family gathered for a ceremony renaming Highway 212 the USMC Cpl. Keaton Coffey Memorial Highway.

Coffey grew up in Damascus in a family full of police officers and firefighters.  His father, Grant Coffey, is a retired Portland firefighter who served 37 years.

He told Fox 12 they picked September 11th for the ceremony because, like first responders, the military said yes after the terrorist attacks and ran toward danger, not away from it.

“Everybody gave something but some gave everything and that was an example of my son, he gave all for all of us so we could have our freedoms.”

Now a sign reading: “Fallen Hero Memorial Highway, Keaton Grant Coffey, U.S. Marines” will be installed along the road.

Grant Coffey said he hopes when people drive past that sign, they’ll really take it in, and reflect on what it represents.

“I want them to never forget,” he said.  “I want them to see that sign and take a minute out of their day-to-day grind of, you know, ‘What kind of coffee do I get?’ and, ‘What appointment do I have?’ and just to sit down and realize what blood, sweat and lives were given so they can do what they do today.  I want them to remember that every time they see that sign.”

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