The veterans memorial outside of the Webberville High School football field has new meaning Tuesday as the school mourns one of its own.
Staff Sergeant Gregory McCoy of the Army's 410th Military Police Company was killed in Iraq Thursday when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle. McCoy's former teacher Colleen Scott Keiser says a life in the military was the only thing he ever wanted.
"I remember when he enlisted in high school, he started wearing his fatigues to class and things like that, with his combat boots. He was so proud of it, and he was so happy to have the opportunity to serve," Scott Keiser says.
She describes the fallen soldier as "very thoughtful. He was a kind individual with a great sense of humor, a dry sense of humor."
McCoy graduated in 1998. The students who now walk the halls of Webberville High School weren't his classmates, but they're missing him just the same.
"First thing this morning, a young man came into my office and requested the flag to be at half-staff," says Principal Brian Friddle.
"[The students] are talking about doing a fundraiser for his children," adds Scott Keiser.
Sgt. McCoy isn't the only soldier to come from Webberville High School in recent years. Friddle says 10 percent of last year's graduating class enlisted in the armed services.
As the sign in front of the high school changes to commemorate McCoy's life, students and teachers both are thinking about McCoy's wife and two sons left behind in Texas. He also leaves behind something else: a legacy.
"We have lost an important person," says school secretary Erma Leathem.
"That was his goal," reminds Scott Keiser. "That's what he wanted to do. He served his country and that's what his focus was in high school. He carried out his dream."