Cooper-Sorrells Funeral Home
Major Nathan W. Anderson
(October 24, 1979 - February 22, 2012)
Major Nathan W. Anderson
Nathan was born in Pampa, Texas on October 24, 1979, and married Amanda Caroline Cooper, of Elwood, Texas, on August 18, 2001. Nathan died on February 22, 2012 in the Chocolate Mountains of California while conducting a training mission for the United States Marine Corps. A decorated Marine, he completed three deployments in the Global War on Terrorism. Nathan embodied the quiet confidence of a born leader, never bragging, always approachable, sweetly smirking and loved by everyone who knew him. He not only saved lives – literally – he inspired people to be better husbands, fathers and Marines. After his death, messages from those who served with him contained a single theme – he was the kind of man everyone aspired to be.
He is survived by his wife, Amanda, and two sons Randon Cooper Anderson (10 years) and William Cole Anderson (8 years).
A 1998 graduate of Amarillo High, Nathan received an ROTC scholarship and attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corp of Cadets Company H-1, and served as a Ross Volunteer. After meeting and marrying the love of his life, Amanda, and the birth of their son, Randon, Nathan graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on December 20, 2002. A happy husband and proud father, Nathan began the journey to achieve his goal of becoming one of the top Huey pilots in the Marine Corps. A natural leader, the Huey was the perfect fit where he gained the respect of fellow pilots and Huey Crew Chiefs alike.
After finishing in the top ten percent of his class at The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia, he attended flight training in Pensacola, Florida where his second son, Cole, was born in 2003. He earned his wings on February 25, 2005. He moved with his family to Jacksonville, North Carolina, and his first deployment was in 2007 with HMM-264 (Reinforced). He completed two more deployments in 2008 and 2009 with HML/A-167.
Nathan excelled as a Huey helicopter pilot and soon became a leader in the squadron, training and influencing less experienced pilots and gaining an impeccable reputation. Because of this he was asked to become an Instructor Pilot at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS 1), the elite of Marine aviation, in Yuma, Arizona. Nathan was honored by a fitting memorial service on February 29 at MCAS Yuma that reflected all of the admiration and respect his fellow-Marines could bestow. Major Anderson’s awards and decorations include an Individual Air Medal for heroism, Air Medal with Strike Flight Numeral (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy Unit Commendation with bronze star in lieu of second award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two bronze stars for subsequent deployments, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars for subsequent deployments.
He is also survived by his mother, Kinnette Anderson of Fairfield, Texas, father Kerry Anderson of Amarillo, grandparents Kinneth and Larue Hambright of McLean, Texas, sister and brother-in-law Justin and Jessica Hopper of Fairfield, Texas, brothers Roland and Andrew of Amarillo, father and mother-in-law Ric and Darla Cooper of Elwood, sister-in-law Angie Cooper of Denison, brother-in-law Terence Cooper of Elwood and 7 adoring nieces and nephews.
“Nathan’s great strength and humility inspired others. Many people will hear about the great achievements of Nathan Anderson. But I will remember his greatest contribution, his example.” – an example of one of the many messages sent from those he served with.
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