Yesterday, a crowd of friends and supporters gathered in Littleton for a farewell send-off to Major Mike Coffman, our truly honorable State Treasurer who has temporarily resigned his post to spend a tour of duty in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps.
The ceremony was simple but poignant, with former State Senate President John Andrews leading the invocation, an older Army veteran leading the Pledge of Allegiance (while he stood surrounded by all the veterans in attendance), and Miss Colorado 2004 Laura Tobey singing a beautiful rendition of our national anthem.
Former Ambassador Sam Zakhem gave Mike Coffman high praise, comparing him to a modern day Nathan Hale (“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”) Congressman Bob Beauprez honored his friend as a true patriot, reminding the audience of the hard plight and momentous opportunity for lasting change in the Middle East and lauding Coffman for helping to take on the task.
US Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez spoke eloquently of Mike Coffman’s patriotism
In return, Coffman had kind words for Beauprez. He told how he had wrestled with the decision of whether to fill the badly needed role of providing Civil Affairs expertise to the nascent Iraqi democracy. Coffman said he realized he could in good conscience give up his short-lived run for governor, but only knowing that a “strong candidate” like Beauprez had stepped in. The departing Treasurer all but officially endorsed the Beauprez candidacy right then and there, though sources indicate that such a formal announcement won’t be long in coming either. Coffman also clearly stated his intention to run for Secretary of State. A future run for governor might not yet be out of the question, should he come home safe – God-willing – from his important duties in Iraq.
Beauprez’s appearance as the only other high-profile political figure at the event was noteworthy in itself. But his decision to move into the race has been a lot more artfully made than Democratic counterpart Rutt Bridges, who hasn’t articulated too well why he wants to be Colorado’s chief executive.
Major Mike Coffman, soon to resign his office as State Treasurer and to don again the United States Marine uniform and serve in Iraq, addressed his supporters
Coffman spoke briefly but eloquently to a receptive audience, who gave the true American hero several rounds of applause. Best wishes to Mike and his new wife Cynthia as he spends the next seven months in an unsettled and often hostile Iraqi region. Our prayers and support are with the Coffmans.