, Port Arthur, Texas

Top Stories

July 25, 2013

Parents of PA soldier grateful for ‘overwhelming community support’

PORT ARTHUR — After news broke that Glenda and Ronald Key’s son, Spc. Anthony R. Maddox, had died from burns sustained in a non-combat situation while on active duty in Afghanistan, the family has received an outpouring of support from their community.

On Wednesday, two strangers stopped by their Port Arthur home to drop off a handmade patriotic quilt and a homemade cake for the couple. In the afternoon hours, two of Glenda’s coworkers from Community Bank arrived with food from Chick-fil-A and offered any kind of support to the couple.

“The support from the community has been overwhelming — makes us happy that we chose to stay here,” Ronald said, in front of his doorway which was decorated with yellow ribbons.

Glenda had spoken with her 22-year-old son on Friday and said he was excited because he thought he would be able to come home on August 19.

The family didn’t know it then, but Maddox had recently been promoted to Sergeant.

No less than 24 hours later on Saturday, July 21, the family received a phone call from army officials about an incident that had occurred where Maddox received burns to 95 percent of his upper body, Ronald said.

“Not all of the information was available right then,” Ronald said. Another day passed before they received a second call about his death at a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

“Words cannot even say how I felt,” Glenda said of her reaction to the phone call. “I was out of control.”

After graduating from Nederland High School in 2009, Maddox spent a year in Job Corps, a program administered by the federal government that offers affordable education and vocational training. Upon his return, he informed them that he wanted to join the military.

“He has many family members who were in the armed forces,” Ronald said. “There was also military personnel at a job fair he attended in high school.”

When she first heard of his decision, Glenda was apprehensive.

“I didn’t want him to be in harm’s way,” she said.

The Keys moved to Port Arthur after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans in 2005. Ronald was transferred to a job in the area, he said, and it seemed like a good family area.

At the time, Maddox was living with his father in Illinois, but moved to Port Arthur and began attending Nederland High School in 2007 as a sophomore.

His parents said that Maddox enjoyed his years at the high school and made many friends. “He was much loved by people,” Glenda said.

The quiet and conscientious high schooler had played football since Pee Wee league, his parents said.

On the football field, Maddox displayed a much different personality quirk.

“His nickname was Mad Dog,” Ronald said, laughing. “Once he was on that field, it was a different story.”

Both Ronald and Glenda described their son as someone who would always look out for people, even as a young person.

“If there was someone being picked on, Anthony would always take up for him,” Ronald said. “Some things you can’t be coached — that was bred in him.”

“Anthony would give you his last dollar if you needed it; he was quick to share,” Glenda said.

Since this was his first full tour of duty in Afghanistan, Maddox didn’t have many stories to share with his parents just yet. “He said it was hot,” Glenda said, smiling.

Maddox kept up with his Facebook regularly and stayed in touch with his family often, Glenda said.

Without a specific date of his return to the United States, the Keys have arranged a service at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Port Arthur with Gabriel Funeral Home overseeing, but no day picked out yet. Maddox will be buried at the Houston National Cemetery.

His body will be flown into the Jack Brooks Regional Airport, Ronald said.

“Right now, we’re just waiting,” Glenda said.

Until they receive word on his arrival back home, the Keys will continue to mourn their son and are grateful for the sincerity of support from friends and the Mid-County community.

“Earlier I went to the store and was looking at a newspaper when I ran into someone I knew,” Ronald said. “They looked at the paper and saw his picture and recognized him as my son and he started crying.”

“We had that (sense of community) where we’re from, but not like it is here,” he said.


Twitter: @julesbmt

Text Only
Top Stories
  • rain total noon copy.jpg Map shows rainfall totals through noon

    The National Weather Service in Lake Charles is continuing the flash flood watch for the entire region this afternoon, but it could be removed later today for east Texas and central Louisiana. Heavy rains today have produced 5-10 inches of rain across southeast Texas, 3-6 inches across southwest and south central Louisiana, and 1-3 inches in east Texas and central Louisiana.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ave H1.jpg Heavy rains flood Southeast Texas

    July 18, 2014 5 Photos

  • Switzerland Obit Wint_Edge.jpg Blues legend Johnny Winter dies at 70

    Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, known for his lightning-fast blues guitar riffs, his striking long white hair and his collaborations with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and childhood hero Muddy Waters, has died. He was 70.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Free Agency LeBron Ba_Cowl.jpg LeBron James returning to Cavaliers

    LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    James told Sports Illustrated Friday that he’s decided to go home. It’s a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seattle Campus Shooti_Edge.jpg 'Heroes’ helped stop gunman at university

    When a lone gunman armed with a shotgun at a small university stopped firing at students to reload, another student pepper-sprayed him and subdued him with the help of others and prevented more deaths, police said.
    “There are a number of heroes in this,” Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said. “The people around him (the gunman) stepped up.”

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • FireHFONLINE.jpg Hamshire-Fannett Elem badly burned

    With smoke still hanging in the air and water blasting hot spots in the smoldering ruins of Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School, the administration and parents of hundreds students are left wondering what’s next.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 86th Academy Awards -_Edge.jpg ’12 Years a Slave’ rises up at Academy Awards

    Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama “12 Years a Slave” best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.
    Steve McQueen’s slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, has been hailed as a landmark corrective to the movie industry’s virtual blindness to slavery, instead creating whiter tales like 1940 best-picture winner “Gone With the Wind.” “12 Years a Slave” is the first best-picture winner directed by a black filmmaker.

    March 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obit Shirley Temple_Edge.jpg Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85

    Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died, according to publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

    February 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winter.jpg Freezing rain, sleet Thursday into Friday

    Wicked winter weather is heading to Southeast Texas Thursday night into Friday.
    An arctic cold front will be passing through bringing along with it much colder and windier conditions, according to a National Weather Service press release.

    January 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oscar Nominations_Cowl.jpg ‘Hustle,’ ’Gravity’ lead Oscar nominations

    The Academy Awards appear to be the three-horse race many expected it would be, with “Gravity,” “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave” all receiving a heap of nominations. All were among the nine films nominated for best picture. The other nominees are “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Philomena.”

    January 16, 2014 1 Photo

Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Sports Tweets