Spc. Alex Missildine is remembered as 'a model soldier'
By LOUANNA CAMPBELL | Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas | Published: October 17, 2017
TYLER, Texas (Tribune News Service) — A broken community of family, friends and fellow soldiers united to remember Spc. Alexander Missildine's life and bring the fallen soldier to his final resting place.
The pews of the Green Acres Baptist Church chapel were filled Monday as the Rev. Dustin Slaton officiated Missildine's funeral service.
Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, 10th Mountain Division commander, spoke to Missildine's family and described Alex as a unique and wonderful man. He told the Missildine and Goodwin families that all the good Alex did was because of them.
"Alex is an American hero, a soldier who chose to serve in time of war," Piatt said. "He trained in the heat of Louisiana working to earn his place among his peers. He became an example of a model soldier. He volunteered to work more and always stepped up."
Missildine's aunt told those in attendance about the first moment she saw Alex and the last. She remembered how special he was to the family because he was the first grandson.
She spoke of his camping trips with his grandparents and how he was the type of person who would give the shirt off of his back to anyone in need.
Robin Goodwin, Missildine's mother, said she had to accept the fact that her son figured out he was going to be a soldier when he was 4 years old despite every effort to talk him out of joining the Army.
"I realized he wasn't mine to protect," Mrs. Goodwin said. "He was God's child and I stopped being resistant to the man he had become."
Mrs. Goodwin encouraged everyone to remember her son as kind, gentle, funny, humble and giving.
Jodie Missildine, Alex's stepmother, wanted Alex's friends and family to know that the stories they shared were like ripples in water that just keep his memory alive.
"His light is not gone," Mrs. Missildine said. "It has multiplied. As long as his memory lives in each of us, he is never going to be gone. Don't let his ripple stop today. Go hear, touch and see all that the world has to offer and tell your kids and grandchildren about Alex."
A slideshow of snapshots, selfies and family pictures showed on the screen as music played throughout the church.
Photographs showed Missildine as a young blond-haired boy opening Christmas presents, dressed up as Woody from Toy Story for Halloween, as a teenager surrounded by family and friends and as a soldier in his Army combat uniform and dress blues.
When the service ended, the procession of vehicles moved through Tyler aided by the Tyler Police Department.
Many people stood along the route, out of their vehicles with their hands on their hearts. Some saluted as the procession passed by.
A graveside service included the traditional military honors of a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps and the ceremonial folding of the flag.
About 50 U.S. Army soldiers stood at attention and formed two lines as a military honor guard marched through with Missildine's flag-draped casket to bring the fallen soldier to his final resting place at Pleasant Retreat Cemetery.
After the rifle detail fired their three volleys in succession and taps was played, the flag was lifted from Missildine's casket. The detail began the 13 folds to make the flag into a tightly formed precise triangle. Mrs. Goodwin was presented her son's flag by the ranking member of the honor guard.
The Gold Star Mother sat with the flag in her lap and hugged all of those who came to offer her their condolences.
Missildine, a 2015 Robert E. Lee High School graduate was assigned to the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Missildine was on his first deployment with his unit and just weeks into his deployment. His convoy was attacked Oct. 1 when an improvised explosive device detonated.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Missildine is survived by his parents, his father Michael and Jodie Missildine, and his mother, Robin and Rusty Goodwin, along with his siblings, other family members and friends.
©2017 Tyler Morning Telegraph (Tyler, Texas)
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