PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

August 3, 2013

Soldier laid to rest

Maddox remembered as motivated, hard worker

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

BEAUMONT — According to his team leader, Sgt. Anthony R. Maddox’s nickname, “Mad Dog,” was a misnomer.

“When I first became his team leader, I asked him, ‘Why is your nickname ‘Mad Dog’ if you’re always smiling?’” said Spc. Cortney Williams, who was stationed in Fort Drum, N.Y., with Maddox. “He was actually a nice person.”

Williams met Maddox in October 2011. A month later, they celebrated Maddox’s 21st birthday together in Syracuse, N.Y.

Maddox, a Port Arthur resident and 2009 Nederland High School graduate, died July 22 in Landstuhl, Germany, from injuries sustained in a non-combat incident in Afghanistan. Williams, a native of Griffin, Ga., made the trip to Beaumont — his first time in Texas — on Saturday to pay his final respects at his fallen friend’s funeral, held at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 3920 West Cardinal Drive.

Maddox was motivated, a hard worker, Williams said. Not content with the obligatory morning workout, he would head to the gym in the afternoon to get in some extra exercise — something he encouraged Williams to do as well.

“I said, ‘I’m not with all that working out,’” Williams said. “But he was a hard worker. Even if there was no work, he always tried to find something to do.”

At 25, Williams is three years older than the 22-year-old Maddox. However, Williams said, the two shared a mutual respect.

“Even though he looked up to me, I should be looking up to him,” Williams said.

Maddox entered the United States Army in 2011 with the goal of becoming a non-comissioned officer. Shortly before his death, he accomplished that goal by being named sergeant.

Major General Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of the United States Army’s 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum, illustrated Maddox’s dedication by relaying a story from his fellow soldier. The soldier walked into Maddox’s room to find him doing curls with a 50-lb. dumbbell while simultaneously working on his computer.

“That’s how dedicated he was,” Townsend read. “’Mad Dog’ loved everyone as though he had known them for years. He touched your life and made you think.”

Townsend isn’t certain whether he ever crossed paths with Maddox. But he had heard enough about him to know that he embodied the division’s motto — “Climb to Glory.”

“Godspeed, Anthony,” Townsend concluded, “as you finish your ‘Climb to Glory.’”

A standing-room only congregation filled the church to say good-bye to Maddox, and even more stood on the grassy area in front of the church. That included the Patriot Guard Riders of the Golden Triangle, whose motorcycles led the funeral procession to Maddox’s final resting place at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive.

It was the least Patriot Guard Rider Bob Hobson could do for a brother in arms.

“Even though he’s 40 years younger than me, he is still my brother,” said Hobson, who served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1970-71 and now lives in Lumberton. “It doesn’t make any difference what race, creed, color, religion you are. In the Army, we all believe the same thing.”

When asked if he had any words for Maddox, Hobson’s answer was simple.

“Job well done,” he said. “Thank you.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA