Pelham soldier dies in Iraq

Army sergeant Jean Paul Medlin of Pelham was killed May 19 in Baghdad, Iraq. Medlin, 27, along with six others, was killed when an improvised explosion device went off near the vehicle he was traveling in.

Dale Strippling coached Medlin while he played football at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

&8220;Paul was a quiet guy but a hard worker. He was mainly a leader by example on the football field,&8221; Strippling said.

&8220;The only time you ever heard him was when he was encouraging his teammates.&8221;

Strippling also said he knew Medlin did his duty with honor.

&8220;When you go to bed at night, he was the kind of guy you wanted guarding your country,&8221; Strippling said.

After graduation, Medlin joined the Marines.

He served for several years as a Marine sniper but eventually left the military to go to college.

He attended classes at Jefferson State Community College and lived in Pelham.

In December 2001, Medlin decided to go back to the military as a member of the Army.

In January 2006, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.