Soldier dies after accident in Afghanistan
By Kevin Barlow | The (Bloomington, Ill.) Pantagraph | Published: July 24, 2013
BLOOMINGTON — A former Normal Community High School student was remembered by his father Tuesday evening as a quiet, fun-loving kid who grew from a boy to a man during his four years in the Army.
Spc. Anthony R. Maddox, 22, of Port Arthur, Texas, died Monday in Landstuhl, Germany. He was being treated at a military hospital there after a fuel truck accident that occurred Saturday in Andar, Afghanistan.
“He was very energetic and the type of person that when people met him, they instantly liked him,” said his father, Jerome Maddox of Bloomington . “The Army really transformed him and he had become a real leader and I am so proud of him.”
In the fuel truck accident, the soldier suffered severe burns over most of his body, his father said. Specialists to treat him were flown to the Landstuhl hospital from the Army burn center in San Antonio, Jerome Maddox said.
Anthony attended Chiddix Junior High and then two years at Normal Community High School before moving to Texas, where his mother lives.
“He played basketball and then played football for NCHS, but the biggest change was the four years he spent in the Army,” Jerome Maddox said. “He started looking people in the eye. He shook hands with a firm grip. He knew what was right and what was wrong. He was always a great kid and if you told him to do something, he always got it done. I was his father, so occasionally, I had to tell him twice. But, people loved him.”
Anthony Maddox was assigned to the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y.
His awards and decorations included the Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
He was an Army petroleum supply specialist. The Department of Defense is investigating the accident that led to his death.
Jerome Maddox and his family were traveling from Chicago Saturday morning when Army officials called to inform him that his son had been in a nonhostile incident and he had suffered second-degree burns to about 97 percent of his body. He was evacuated to Germany and underwent surgery. On Sunday morning, officials reported he was in stable, but critical condition and hospital officials had plans to transfer him to San Antonio for further treatment. But his condition worsened and Jerome Maddox received the news Monday morning.
“My heart was broken,” Jerome Maddox said.
His funeral will be in Texas, but Jerome said the family will have a memorial service in Illinois as well.
“He still had tons of friends here and they have been coming by and paying their condolences and sharing stories about him,” he said. “What you learn from hearing these stories is how much he meant to everyone and right now, that’s what we need. He will be missed because he loved his family and he loved his friends. I am proud of him and very proud of the man he became.”