U.S. Army Master Sgt. Mark Coleman was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 during Operation Enduring Freedom. His daughter Jessica says she will always have a bigger appreciation freedom in America because of what she lost to obtain it. “I will always try to live the best life I can, because that’s what my Dad would have wanted for me,” she explained.
Jessica plans to use her advanced nursing degree to help care for patients in need. “I wanted to feel like I could make a genuine difference in peoples’ lives, and what better way to do so than in healthcare, where people are often most vulnerable,” she shared. With the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Jessica graduated from Saint Martin’s University in Washington.
One of Jessica’s favorite memories with her Dad is when he told her she was going to do great things with her life. Jessica said he wasn’t the type of person to give out compliments very often, especially on such a normal day. “He never knew how much that moment meant to me, and still does,” she shared. Jessica likes to go shooting because it makes her feel close to her Dad. She recalled another fond memory where his coaching and encouragement helped her shoot a staple out of a target. “His simple praise made me feel like I was on top of the world.”
Jessica’s advice to other Fallen Patriots scholars is to try every day to be the person your parent would want you to be. “Make smart choices, use your resources and get your degree, make your parent proud of who you are becoming. There is no greater way to honor their life and their memory.”
Jessica believes her father would be proud of the person she’s grown into. She is now married and trying to start a family.