Sgt. Coleman S. Bean enlisted in the U.S. Army Sept. 5, 2001, and trained at Ft. Benning, Ga. He graduated from the Army Airborne Program in 2002, was assigned to the 173rd Airborne and stationed in Vicenza, Italy. As part of a NATO force, he served in Kosovo and trained in Germany.
In 2003, the 173rd opened the northern front in the Iraq war through the only en-masse combat paratroop jump undertaken by the Army since Vietnam.
Sgt. Bean served in Iraq for 12 months, where he was assigned to peacekeeping duties and the training of local police officials in the Kirkuk area.
Following his tour of duty in Iraq, he was assigned to Ft. Bragg, where he served as an opposition-force trainer for troops preparing for combat in Iraq.
He was honorably discharged in 2005 and recalled to active duty for service in Iraq May 13, 2007. He served with a unit of the Maryland National Guard (175th Combat Infantry Unit) at an airbase in Northern Iraq.
He received the following medals, commendations and promotions:
Airborne Wings - 2002
Army Achievement Medal - 2002
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal W/Arrowhead Device - 2003
Army Commendation Medal x 2 - 2004
Combat Infantryman's Badge - 2004
Combat Parachutist Badge - 2004
Good Conduct Medal - 2005
Army Commendation Medal - 2008
Iraq Campaign Medal - 2008
Promoted from Specialist to Corporal October 2008.
Promoted from Corporal to Sergeant December 2008.
Sgt. Bean committed suicide in 2008 at the age of 25.
His mother, Linda Bean, has been an advocate for improving VA and DOD mental health services for soldiers and endorses the below services for free and confidential counseling for soldiers, vets and their families:
The Soldiers Project: 1-877-576-5343
Give An Hour: http://www.Giveanhour.org
The National Veterans Foundation