Band of Brothers

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…”

Gotta give ol’ Billy Shakespeare his due – that brother could write.

On November 11th of 2009, one of my brothers, a Washington and Lee fraternity brother, Army Corporal Chris Coffland, emailed his various bands of domestic brothers from Afghanistan describing his view of the war.

Several of us were lunching at a West Hollywood cafe in pursuit of our happiness as we shared the email’s text. Coff told us that the situation was very grim and that he fully expected to be hit by an IED any day. He also told us in no uncertain words that “the Tali don’t f*ck around. They hang kids in the trees if they think they are helping us.”

Two days later, Coff’s prediction eerily came true. The former captain of Washington and Lee’s football and lacrosse teams paid the ultimate sacrifice.

You might be at the point in the story where you think – wait, you had a fraternity brother in the Army and he was a corporal? Kind of old for a corporal, wasn’t he?

Well, yes and no. Yes he was old for a corporal, but he was ahead of pace on promotions.

Wait, how old was he when he signed up?



Yup, the guy enlisted at 41. Wanna know why?

Coff said he enlisted because he had no wife and family and he would rather put himself on the line versus a dad or a husband. He figured that he had less to lose.

We lost a brave one 11/13/09; however, in his memory, Chris Coffland’s family established an awesome charity to help wounded soldiers and veterans – Catch A Lift Foundation

Here’s how it helped one wounded Marine Corps veteran –

On July 1st 2004 Sgt. Leonard Vigil (USMC) was hit by a volley of roadside bombs. He suffered Traumatic Brain injury and shrapnel to his left hand. Despite his own injuries he was able to provide first aid to other wounded Marines and security until they were medically evacuated. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Medal for Valor for the actions he took for his squad after the blast.

Sgt Vigil recently wrote to Catch A Life Foundation –

“In the military we always incorporated some type of physical activity in our daily routines.

From going to the gym, running, hiking, wrestling, to playing football or basketball. These activities improved the quality of our lives and made us feel better. Working out kept us healthy and physically fit. As a veteran I lacked the resources available to maintain a healthy lifestyle until Catch A Lift Foundation stepped in. They have worked with a local gym in my city and have provided me with a year membership. I now have the resources available to get fit. Thanks many.”

Please honor the memory of the bravest of the brave and help those who came home by donating to Catch A Lift.

Please help a member of that very special Band of Brothers who voluntarily offered their lives for our freedoms. Here’s the link to the website:

Thank you for considering this very personal request and thank you also to the men and women of our Nation’s armed forces!

You are the very best of the best!

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Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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