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Soldier killed in action will be remembered with street sign in North Brunswick

The late Steven R. Koch has been selected for recognition in the Veteran Street Sign Program in North Brunswick.

An honorary street sign now bears his name at Maple Avenue and Ashland Place, and a proclamation in his honor was read on May 17.

Koch was born on Oct. 15, 1984, the youngest of three children to William and Christine Koch. The family lived on Ashland Place in North Brunswick from 1979 to 1999.

Although all three children attended Our Lady of Lourdes in Milltown, they remained part of the community in North Brunswick.

Koch was a participant in North Brunswick Little League and his father was active in coaching for many years.

Koch attended Linwood Middle School and then the family moved to East Brunswick where he attended East Brunswick High School.

Koch enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006, after his brother Bill was shaken by the terror attacks that took place in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. He completed basic training and entered paratrooper school at Fort Benning in Georgia.

After graduating paratrooper school, he was transferred to Fort Bragg in North Carolina into the 82nd Airborne Regiment.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in January 2007 to the Sabari District. His platoon was in deep hostile territory during the early stages of the Afghanistan War, seeing action daily while recovering lost territory from the Taliban in the process.

He was active as a gunner on the Humvee as well as a communication specialist in charge of all vehicles and hand-held radios for their maintenance.

Koch was killed in action on March 3, 2008, during his deployment of the 82nd Airborne 1-508.

Koch was awarded several medals posthumously for his extraordinary sacrifice to the United States of America. He was awarded the Purple Heart for the wounds he received in action on March 3, 2008; the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious service from January 2007 to March 2, 2008; the Meritorious Service Medal for service as a highly trained paratrooper in the United States Army; the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity in active federal military service; and the Non Article 5 NATO Medal for service with NATO.

Koch was promoted to corporal posthumously by the Army.

Koch is survived by his parents, brother Bill and two children. His sister Lynne passed away in 2010.

William, Christine and Bill continue to honor Koch at a memorial at Our Lady of Lourdes School as well as paver stones at East Brunswick Memorial Park and the Milltown American Legion.

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