Tributes

This Memorial Page Established by-Craig and Amanda Cotting
In Honor Of PFC Grant A Cotting
From your Dad

Dear Grant,

Its 2:37am and I can’t sleep - I miss you.  I hope you knew how much I loved you – we loved
you.  I hope you knew how proud I was of you.  You were my first son.  Your arrival scared
me to death.  Your first few weeks challenged both your mother and I to the core. Many 18
hour days ended by coming home to you after midnight and having to drive you around town
for an hour – or more - just so you could sleep.  I should have realized then that you would
grow up making your own path through life.  I remember your mother calling me while I was
back East telling me that you were sick, inconsolable.  I jumped on the first plane I could to
get home.  I remember the sheer look of disbelief on her face as I walked through the door,
you crying away in her arms until she handed you to me.  She hadn’t slept in god knows how
long, and you passed out on my shoulder within minutes and the fever you had for the last
several days literally just disappeared.  Boy was she mad!

I wasn’t prepared to mold you, raise you.  At two years old you were a seasoned air traveler,
making your way through crowds of adults with your suitcase in tow shouting out “Excuse
Me, Coming Through”.  Again, not afraid to make your own way.  On the airplane you would
get on the floor, laying your Legos out on the seat and play until the 5 hour flight was over.  
And as you grew, as you went through those years of change as a teenager, you still made
me proud – mad many a time, but proud.  The challenges you presented along the way made
me stronger, better able to take on the role of father.  A role I am fortunate enough to
continue to hold today.  Your loss is tragic enough, I cant imagine going through this if you
were our only child.

Your decision to join the Army was a shock.  I remember rolling into the driveway after
midnight from a trip to Las Vegas.  You met us in the garage and while helping me unload the
luggage just casually mentioned that you had enlisted, like asking me to pass the salt.  I could
tell that you had thought long and hard about the decision - again I was very proud, worried,
but proud.  I knew from the phone calls to home made while hidden in a locker that you were
facing the biggest challenges of your life.  Those conversations are some of my most
cherished memories of you.  In the end you conquered the trials of your Basic Training by
picking yourself up, having the wisdom to listen, and having the dedication and conviction to
persevere.

Watching you as you graduated from basic was one of the greatest memories in my life, as I
am sure it is with your mother and brothers.

While I knew your friends at home loved you, through this tragic event we have learned just
how many others you touched in your short time, even in death finding a way to make me, us,
proud.  We have received messages from across the globe from your comrades and Senior
officers that couldn’t be here today, some of which only knew you for a few weeks.  Those
messages all conveyed true sincerity in their content.  Not one ill thought to be found.  You
were an inspiration to many.

I will always regret missing your last calls, missing hearing the voice of my son who had
become such a man.  While we do not yet know the how and whys’ of your death, we now
know the how and whys’ of your life.  I’m sorry I couldn’t be there with you in Iraq.  I know it
was rough.  I think we shared more conversation in our emails over the last 2 months then
we did during your entire Senior year in High School.  Your emails had become a regular and
welcome highlight to my days at work.  I wish I could have talked to you one more time.  God I
miss you.

I love you Grant.  Mike Kilo.

To Branden, Nicholas, Scott, and Lucas.  I love you all, we, love you all.  Grant loved you
despite any feeling you may have had otherwise.  He expressed his love for all of you to me
before he left.  Look around and see at all of these people here today.  Each of you bring your
own personalities into my life, your mothers life, into their lives.  Each of you is different and
unique and each of you will touch many more lives as you grow.  Each of you make your
mother and I very proud.  You will always be loved, no matter what.  Remember that and hold
me to it.  Remember that no matter what the issue is, you have all of these people, and more,
who love you and will help you – all you have to do is ASK.  The biggest thing to remember is
that you have each other.  Play with each other, challenge each other, love each other – no
matter how much you annoy each other.

To my wife Amanda. We have had 20+ years of marriage and I have been fortunate to have
you in my life.  While we faced many challenges along the way, nothing could have prepared
us for this.  We had 5 wonderful boys.  For whatever reason, God’s plan or just fate, we have
lost our first son.  No parent should have to witness this event in their lifetime, but yet here
we are.   We can be proud of the man we raised, and the men we will continue to raise.  I love
you.  I know we both want answers, wonder why us, seek blame, feel like we failed
somehow.  But Grant made his own decisions and he thought long and hard about them.  
Nothing can fill the void you have in your heart, your soul right now.  But you can and should
know that you did not fail.  You son was a good man.  I ask that you to also look around you
now.  Our son made a difference.  Our son touched many people and those that could be here
to let you know are, those that couldn’t be here took the time to tell us.  Use!
that sense of pride to help you put one foot in front of the other each day so that we can finish
raising the other joys in our life so that they to can make a difference.  I will be here for you
every step of the way.

To the Family and Friends that are here with us today.  Words can not express the gratitude
we feel.  We are so fortunate to have you in our lives.  While life has a way of preventing us
from gathering together more often, the fact that you are here today is proof that as we all
walk through life, we all touch more lives than we realize.

Thank you to those men and women who are present or not, that have served or are serving,
who have a loved one serving or have also lost a loved one, that have offered their support to
us in the name if a fallen comrade.  We have been overwhelmed by the support offered to us
not only by the Army but by complete strangers as well upon learning the news of Grant’s
death.
Pfc. Grant A. Cotting
United States Army
KIA 24 January 2009
Sign Guestbook
19, of Corona, Calif.; assigned to the 515th Sapper Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th
Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; died Jan. 24 in Kut, Iraq, of
injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.