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Friends remember Nederland H.S. grad killed overseas

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Army Spc. Anthony R. Maddox (Source: Fort Drum Public Affairs) Army Spc. Anthony R. Maddox (Source: Fort Drum Public Affairs)

At the stadium where he used to play football for Nederland High school, friends of Army Specialist Anthony Maddox gathered Tuesday to remember their former classmate.
     
Maddox died Monday in a German hospital after receiving severe burns in a Saturday accident in Afghanistan. He was just 22 years old, and on his first deployment.

"It just really took a toll on the family in general and we just have to come together and stay strong," Anthony's father Jerome told 12News over the phone on Tuesday.

His father said the army was "a calling" for Maddox, and that he planned to make a career out of it.

Maddox graduated from Nederland High School in 2009 after moving from Illinois to Port Arthur to live with his mom before his junior year.

"He was an amazing guy, he had a smile that lit up the room, a personality that was one of a kind, everyone loved him, everyone in high school knew who he was," said Logan Hebert, a close friend of Maddox's.

Wearing number 26 Maddox played linebacker and later defensive end for the Bulldogs.
     
Zach Atterberry was his teammate, and quickly became his best friend.

"After school on day after football practice I just saw him kind of standing around, so I offered him a ride home... and everyday after school from then on I brought him home," Atterberry said.  "He put you before himself, he wasted time making sure everybody else was alright that he forgot to make sure he was alright. It just seems unreal that he's already gone."

Hebert and Atterberry plan to speak with some coaches about the possibility of having one of this upcoming season's football games dedicated in honor of Maddox.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Maddox died Monday at a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, of a non-combat related incident that occurred in Andar, Afghanistan.  

The incident is under investigation.

Spc. Maddox was assigned to the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.  He joined the Army in 2011.

Spc. Maddox's awards include the Army Achievement medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge and the National Defense Service Medal.

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