I just got off the phone with a beautiful woman, Laura Cooper. On April 9th her husband lost his battle with lung cancer. Laura has two sons. Christopher, 23yrs old is in the US Army serving in Iraq. Justin, 20yrs old is a student at Texas State College.
They could use our prayers.
Here is the article from the Houston Community Newspaper:
A Magnolia man serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq recently had to take out a loan which is debited from his check to help pay for his father’s funeral expenses.
Soldier fights in Iraq, struggles to help family back home
According to his mother, Laura Cooper, her son barely made it before her husband died, but is now having to sacrifice even more.
Christopher Cooper Jr., 23, came home to attend his father’s funeral but only had five days to grieve with his mother and younger brother before having to head back to
Iraq to take part in the Untied States’ military campaign in the Middle East. His brother, Justin Cooper, 20, is attending Texas State College.
Chris Cooper Sr., 47, died April 9, only months after finding out he had lung cancer in November. His widow, Laura Cooper, works part-time for A+ Autos in Pinehurst and was already struggling to work and take care of her disabled mother who went blind due to diabetes.
Laura Cooper has worked for the auto shop for eight years. When her husband developed cancer, her struggle to care for her ailing family and work got harder and it left her with little funds.
With one son in college and the other in Iraq, there was no one for her to turn to. She said her son is already sacrificing so much for his country, but he offered to sacrifice even more by taking out a loan against his military pay to help cover his father’s funeral expenses.
“It’s been very tough on Christopher,” Laura Cooper said. “But, he never once has complained.” Laura Cooper said she believes her son is depressed, however.
“I’m told he doesn’t eat lunch anymore,” she said. “He really didn’t have a chance to grieve.” Laura Cooper said she relates to the troubled life of Job in the Bible. Her boss at the auto shop, Gerald Sadler, is also a pastor of Christian Life Church, which meets at A+ Autos, took up a collection for Laura Cooper to help pay the funeral expenses so her son won’t have to make that extra sacrifice.
Sadler said before Laura Cooper’s husband died, her son came home from Iraq to see his dad in the hospital, probably for the last time. While on the way to the hospital, he said, the engine of his mother’s car blew up.
Through it all, Sadler said, Laura Cooper has been resilient.
“She bends with pressure, gets up after a knock down, takes life one day at a time, and has the amazing ability to rise up from the ashes and not be bitter against those that bring the difficulties and like Job, never cursed God in all her trials,” said Sadler, who has a doctorate in ministry.
Sadler and his church are planning a benefit May 6 at Christian Life Church, 27501 SH 249 near Decker Prairie Rosehill Road, in the parking lot of his auto shop. Sadler said funeral expenses alone amount to $7,200. So far, $1,200 has come in from various donations. Sadler said that unless the community can help, the rest will be being taken out of Christopher Cooper’s son’s military pay for the next two years.
An account has also been set up at Woodforest National Bank under the name “Funeral Fund for Chris Cooper.”
Laura Cooper said she has a number of people she is thankful for, who helped her with donations. She said jars were placed around town to help in the collection drive so her son won’t have to pay for his father’s funeral.
I will be posting information this evening on ways to help Christopher and his family. (Yes, this will include a card, letter, and care package drive. )