Saturday, June 18, 2011

Army Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III, 37, of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

Sgt Dixon was assigned to 4th Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Baumholder, Germany; died June 18, 2011 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered during a vehicle rollover. Also killed were Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvin A. Boatwright, Army Sgt. Alan L. Snyder and Army Spc. Tyler R. Kreinz.

From the Joplin Globe:

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon issued a declaration that flags at all state buildings be flown at half-staff on Thursday to honor the sacrifice of Staff Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III, 37, who was killed June 18 while on a mission in Uruzgan Province in central Afghanistan.

In a statement, Nixon said: “Staff Sergeant Dixon served our country with bravery and dedication. I ask all Missourians to remember his sacrifice when they see the lowered flags.”

Dixon served almost 20 years in the Air Force and Army. He enlisted in the Air Force after graduating in 1992 from Joplin High School and served in South Korea. Later, he transferred to the Army as part of the “Blue to Green” program.

Dixon’s father, Edward Dixon Jr., said his son wanted to be a tanker (armored crewman) for the Army. After receiving armored training at Fort Knox, Ky., Dixon was stationed in Baumholder, Germany. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq and Baghdad’s Sadr City, the scene of intense fighting. Over the course of 15 months, Dixon and his comrades gained control of the 8-square-mile area of roughly 2 million people.

Dixon was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of a troop surge intended to reverse gains made by the Taliban. Dixon’s unit, the 170th Infantry Brigade, was assigned to train Afghan forces in cooperation with Australian troops stationed in Uruzgan Province. He died of injuries he suffered when his vehicle rolled over while crossing a river during a mission with Afghan forces. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the accident remains under investigation.

Edward Dixon Jr. said his son loved the outdoors, especially the woods along Shoal Creek. As a military veteran of the Vietnam era himself, he said the support his family has received since traveling to Dover, Del., to receive his son’s body has been “fantastic.”

He pointed to organizations such as the USO and the Patriot Guard, which help families cope with the loss of their loved-ones-in-arms.

“The support we’ve received has been fantastic,” Dixon said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Dixon said that while the past week has been a difficult time for his family, he is comforted by the knowledge that his son was doing something he believed in.

“I can’t be any more proud of him,” Dixon said. “He was proud of what he was doing, and he was proud to serve.”

Army Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III was killed in action on 6/18/11.

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