York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Corporal Michael Cohen on Jacobus, Pa.: ‘If there was an underdog to fight for … ‘

Corporal Michael Cohen, 23, of Jacobus, Pa., was killed in 2004, by enemy action in Iraq. He is part of a story in Forward, a national, secular weekly Jewish newspaper covering current, international and arts & entertainment news. Also of interest: York County’s Vietnam War deaths adjusted to reflect those in theater of war. But sacrifice is still immense. and Part 6: Nazis murdered downed WWII airman from York and York/Adams 21st-century war death total stands at more than 20.

Michael Cohen died in Fallujah in 2004, but his story is retold in a weekly publication.
Forward is telling his story in connection with the 10th anniversary of the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
The story includes profiles of Corporal Cohen and 36 other Jewish men and women who have lost their lives in combat in both engagements. (Full story here.)
Here is the profile on the soldier, found in this article:

Growing up, if there was an underdog to fight for, Michael Cohen made sure he was the one to do it. A happy and humorous child, Cohen enjoyed Sunday school, was an avid lover of science fiction and embraced new ideas.
A native of Jacobus, Pa., Cohen was a middle child with two sisters who teased and loved him fiercely. He had a close relationship with his father, David Cohen, a doctor, and mother, Agnes Cohen, a nurse.
Cohen’s mother remembers striking a deal with her teenage son to deter him from misbehaving: If Cohen went six weeks without getting into trouble, he could do anything he wanted. To her surprise, the only thing her son wanted was to get a mohawk. “Once, he walked into the house when I was entertaining a house full of ladies. He just stood there, grinning away at their reactions to his hair. It was so funny, I was laughing, too,” Agnes Cohen recalled.
To the surprise of his parents, Cohen decided to enlist in the military when he was 19 years old and studying at the York Technical Institute. Having made up his mind, Cohen arranged for several recruiters to come to the house to speak to his family. “When I saw a Marine walk into my home, I knew that’s what Michael was going to do…he wanted to do something not everybody could do,” Agnes Cohen said. Cohen told his family that after the military, he’d like to be a teacher or a nurse.
“He had a soft spot for anyone that needed [someone], including me,” his mother said. When Cohen’s younger sister had a baby boy, she named him Ryan Michael “because it would have been too hard to hear Michael’s name every day.”
Michael Cohen was killed November 22, 2004, by enemy action in Fallujah, Iraq. He was 23 years old.

We appreciate Forward for commemorating the sacrifice of Corporal Cohen, one of York County’s own.

Also of interest:

Of local Jewish WW II group: ‘It’s a skeleton post. I’m it.’

Mourners embrace after Corporal Cohen’s death.
All York Town Square posts from the start. Then use “find” function on browser to search for keywords.
– Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and war deaths, you get this.

Bottom photograph courtesy of York Daily Record/Sunday News.