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Death of Lung Cancer Activist Rear Admiral Philip Coady


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I wanted to post the news to this board, of the death yesterday of Rear Admiral (ret.) Philip J. Coady. He was not a member here, to the best of my knowledge, but since some of the members here are also (or formerly) members of the LCA board, I thought they would know of his work with that organization, and that support community, and want to mourn his passing. You may have known him there as SaltyDog.

Phil recently experienced a downturn in his health, when Pulmonary Fibrosis became the bigger beast challenging him. With typical dignity, he decided to postpone any more chemo, preferring to enjoy some time with his wife, family, and friends.

LCA has posted a release about him, which you can read at http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/coady ... y_1_08.htm

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May the sun be always in his face and the winds at his Back! So sorry to read this news and thanks you for posting this! Condolences to friends and families!

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It is with a deeply, deeply saddened heart that I share the news that our Chairman of the Board, Rear Admiral Phil Coady, USN, (Ret) has passed away.

To say we are devastated is an understatement. Rear Admiral Coady was a true American hero.

In a Naval career extending over 34 years, he served with great distinction and honor. He served in Destroyer and other combatant ships. He commanded the USS Connolly (DD 979) and was the commissioning commanding officer of the USS ANTIETAM (CG 54). He was the last Flag Officer to have his flag embarked in the last battleship, USS MISSOURI. As Commander, KITTY HAWK Battle Group, he operated in support of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and conducted air and TOMAHAWK attacks in support of Operation Southern Watch in the Arabian Gulf.

In addition, Admiral Coady had extensive experience on the Naval Staff in the Pentagon. His tours included Operations Analysis Division, Shipbuilding Directorate, Office of the Navy Comptroller, Political Military Division and the Office of Program Planning. His ultimate assignment was the Director, Surface Warfare Division (N86) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion on Merit with five gold stars, the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, and the Navy Commendation medal with two gold stars plus numerous foreign awards.

He devoted extensive time and energy to numerous military and veterans organizations including the Navy Mutual Aid Association, World USO, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and the Naval History Foundation. He lectured extensively to Military audiences on financial topics, military strategy and history. His energy and enthusiasm knew no bounds.

But above all else, he was our hero, who led Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) with the same unflinching conviction and steady purpose as he did when commanding naval destroyers, cruisers and battleship groups.

Indeed, he was uniquely qualified for this assignment. He was an avid hiker, rower and outdoor enthusiast. As a non-smoker, Admiral Coady never imagined himself as someone at risk for lung cancer.

The rude shock of his unexpected diagnosis spurred him to investigate the disease, its treatment and the status of efforts to find a cure. He was stunned at what he learned -- especially the fact that few cancer research dollars spent by the Veterans Administration and U.S. Department of Defense were directed at lung cancer, even though it is the largest cause of cancer deaths among Veterans.

Admiral Coady immediately set to work and resolved to help permanently change public perceptions and public health funding for lung cancer research. He engaged Congress, Agency officials, national media, and business leaders on the need to increase compassion and support for the entire lung cancer community. He commanded attention – and got it - as just last week the first-ever lung cancer research funding legislation was introduced in the United States Senate.

Admiral Coady was an extraordinary man – a natural born leader. He exuded confidence, determination and purpose. He was principled, compassionate, honorable, and resolute. He sought truth and justice. It was easy to “fall in behind” as he led with such dignity, intelligence and grace. He was -- simply put – a “cut above”.

Our hearts are heavy – we mourn a tremendous loss. We owe a debt of gratitude to a man who time and time again willingly and dutifully answered a call to duty and sacrificed so much in service to others.

We extend our most sincere thoughts and prayers to Admiral Coady’s wife, Judy, his children, grandchildren and friends and hope they find comfort in the knowledge that he inspired so many to seek higher purpose and meaning.

I know Admiral Coady would say to all of us, “Soldier on – the battle is not yet won”. Admiral Coady, we say to you, “Yes sir -- we will not be deterred because even in spirit – you will lead us on a path toward victory”.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose

President & CEO

Lung Cancer Alliance

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Thank you so much for posting this, Susan, and thank you for the detailed obituary, Randy.

I did know "SaltyDog" from the LCA site (in fact, he was one of my "friends"), although I did not realize that in his "real life" he was Admiral Coady (about whom I had read much in earlier years when he was still on active duty). He had such a wonderful, positive attitude and was so helpful to so many on that site (not including all his work for LCA). His loss will be felt greatly.


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Thank you so much for posting this, Susan.

I remember, with respect, "Salty Dog," from when I was a member at LCA. He was a most memorable gentleman, and true soldier in this battle.

May he rest in peace.

The informative obituary is much appreciated, Randy. Thank you.


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