Army SSG
Webberville, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

Webberville High School
Spartan Athletic Field
309 East Grand River
Webberville, MI

Killed when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq.

Assigned to the 410th Military Police Company, 720th Militray Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, TX.

Staff Sergeant Gregory William Guy McCoy was born February 9, 1980, in Webberville, Michigan, the first child born to Tim and Carol (Johnson) McCoy. Four years later Greg would become big brother to Michelle Lynne, his only sister.

Greg had his unique ways of learning and learned a lot in his twenty-six years. Learning from a book was okay, but her preferred hands-on education. Greg’s favorite teacher was life. He enjoyed it and never knew what life was going to teach him from day to day. He loved anything that involved computers. They were second nature to him. Greg enjoyed being a D.J. or dances with his best friend Chris Guyer during his junior and senior years at Webberville High School.

When Greg was sixteen, he said that he wanted to join the Army. His parents didn’t think much about it and thought he would change his mind in a few weeks. Needless to say, he never wavered from wanting to be a soldier. Greg persuaded his parents to sign early enlistment papers when he was seventeen. Shortly after graduating form high school he was off to boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina where he was sworn in on July 10, 1998. He was so proud to graduate from Fort Jackson in the fall of 1998 and you could see it in his eyes. His dream had finally come true; he was now a soldier in the United States Army. After boot camp Greg went to Fort Knox Kentucky for Advanced Individualized Training (AIT) as a Bradley Tank Mechanic. In March of 1999 he was sent to Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas. This is where Greg met his wife Lori and they were blessed with two boys, Logan Riley and Tyler Mason. Upon his first reenlistment Greg changed Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) to Military Police. After his AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri he was sent to Kaiserslautern, Germany as part of the 230th MP unit. In March 2004 their unit was deployed to Iraq. While still in Iraq, Greg reenlisted for the second time and returned to Germany in March 2005. He was reassigned in December 2005 to the 410th MP unit 720 Battalion 89th Brigade, and was deployed for the second time to Iraq on June 30, 2006.

Below is a letter from First Lt Trinidad written November 11, 2006, which sums up how his peers felt about him and how Greg felt about his service to his country and fellow soldiers:

“SSG McCoy was an excellent NCO, and an outstanding leader. You often hear at memorial services like this, that the soldier died doing what he wanted to do, and that’s serving his or her country. For SSG McCoy this was the absolute truth. I had a conversation with SSG McCoy two weeks ago we were talking about the pros and cons of staying in the Army. He said that if it weren’t for the war, he would have gotten out a long time ago. He said that this is what he joined the Army to do, that is to deploy and lead troops. SSG McCoy always made any situation better than it actually was. The Army had a philosophy of mission first, but SSG McCoy had another view, which was Soldiers first, mission second. It actually makes perfect sense. He explained that if you don’t have well taken care of soldiers, then you couldn’t accomplish any mission. That is the type of NCO SSG McCoy was. SSG McCoy could always be found at the motor pool working on his vehicle. He had a lot of pride in his team and his equipment. His vehicle rarely ever went down, and if it did, it was fixed before the next mission. He felt that if he had to borrow equipment from some one else that he would fail as a leader, because borrowing meant he could not maintain equipment readiness.”

Unfortunately, on November 9th when they were returning from his mission of training the Iraqi Police, their unit had a problem with a vehicle that wouldn’t start. Greg was asked if he would lead the rest of the unit back to their camp. The lead vehicle in which Greg was commanding was severely damaged, after an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle killing him and Army Sgt. Courtland A. Kennard, 22, of Starkville, Mississippi. They were assigned to the 410th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas at the time of his death.

Greg’s military awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal 8th Award, Army Good Conduct Medal 2nd Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge for both wheeled and tracked vehicles, Expert Weapon Qualification Badge, and Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

Greg was only with us 26 years, but he lived his life, living his dream, something many never have the chance to do. He loved his family, his country and his friends.

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