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Coffey family honored by Senate Resolution

On March 26, 2020, Kentucky State Senator David Givens of Greensburg presented a resolution in honor of the Coffey family, honoring Phillip Coffey for his poem, "Foot Soldier," and acknowledging the courageous service of Elroy Coffey during World War II.

A commemorative copy of the resolution is available for download here:
2020-03-SR_14-senate-resolution (PDF)

Video of the presentation is available on the KET website, at the 33 minute mark of Part 2 of the proceedings.

UNOFFICIAL transcript of 20 RS BR 1135:
A RESOLUTION honoring Phillip Coffey and his poem "Foot Soldier," and acknowledging the courageous service of Elroy Coffey during World War II.

WHEREAS, it is appropriate that this body, and all citizens of this great Commonwealth, take time to duly acknowledge the many sacrifices of the Greatest Generation and of the family members who were waiting for those brave soldiers when they returned home from the war; and

WHEREAS, Elroy Coffey, a native of the Keltner community in Adair County, is one such soldier, and on this day his many sacrifices during combat in World War II are rightfully commended, as are those of his cherished wife, Venie, and his four loving children, Roy, Margaret, Deborah, and Phillip; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of his father's service, Phillip Coffey wrote a poem entitled "Foot Soldier" to not only acknowledge his father but as a tribute to all infantrymen who are tasked with fighting on the front lines of battle; and

WHEREAS, Phillip Coffey's poem reads:

He seemed but a eunuch among the stately studs
But first in line when his nation needed much
From generations of simple men, a hero was born.
Generations of kinfolk had taught him about honor and such.
They handed him a rifle to fight the war
The tasteless M.R.E.'s upon the march
Not sustaining his youthful soul
From horrors of fear, death and gore.
The heroic foot soldier arrived on the peaceful shore
No marching bands with accolades of gratitude
New horizons he must now explore
For humanity he had paid the unscripted dues.
No Nazi or imperialist could stop this common man
ALL HAIL THE FOOT SOLDIER who paid that awful price
Who forever sing in unison with the angel band
No marching forward or foreign foe must he entice
WHEREAS, Elroy Coffey was one of eleven children. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and served in the 9th Army, 102nd Infantry Division, and completed basic training at Camp Maxey near Paris, Texas. After his first combat action he would see continuous combat until V-E Day, and he and his division were responsible for the dangerous crossing of the Rohr River, the capturing of 86 towns between the Rohr and Rhine Rivers, and capturing more than 145,000 prisoners of war during combat; and

WHEREAS, Elroy Coffey returned to Adair County after the war and worked as a farmer, but the costs of the war were great; and

WHEREAS, Elroy Coffey passed from this life on June 30, 2001, and his legacy as a husband, father, and patriot of the first order will not be forgotten; and

WHEREAS, Elroy Coffey was just one of many infantrymen--foot soldiers--who suffered psychologically due to the horrors of war, and it is vital that the citizens of this Commonwealth pause on this day to reflect on the monumental courage exhibited by these brave men during the Allied victory of World War II, and also to commend the many sacrifices made by their families when their loves ones returned home;

NOW, THEREFORE, Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

  • Section 1. The members of the Senate hereby honor Phillip Coffey and his poem "Foot Soldier," and posthumously commend his father, Elroy Coffey, for his extraordinary service as an infantryman during World War II.

  • Section 2. The members of the Senate acknowledge all those foot soldiers, both past and present, who made the ultimate sacrifice during this country's military operations.

  • Section 3. When the Senate adjourns this day, it does so in honor of Elroy Coffey.

  • Section 4. The Clerk of the Senate is directed to transmit a copy of this Resolution to Senator David P. Givens for delivery.

This story was posted on 2020-05-15 09:16:56
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