Friday, September 09, 2011

Army Pfc. Tony J. Potter Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Tony J. Potter Jr., 20, of Okmulgee, Okla.

Pfc Potter was assigned to 1st Battalion, 279 Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa, Okla.; died Sept. 9, 2011 in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire. Also killed were Sgt. Bret D. Isenhower and Spc. Christopher D. Horton.

Potter was on his first deployment, and is the youngest guard member to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the guard stated. Potter, an Okmulgee High School graduate, joined the Oklahoma Guard in 2010 and was promoted to private first class in May, according to the release.

His mother-in-law, Somi Yarbrough, said Potter was a smart, ambitious young man who was very in love with his wife, Emily.

The two were married Dec. 22, and Emily Potter is currently pregnant with their first child, Yarbrough said.

"He was waiting for word from his wife to find out if they were having a boy or girl," Yarbrough said. "Unfortunately, he didn't make it long enough to find out."
The two met while taking a carpentry class three years ago at Oklahoma State University in Okmulgee, where they worked on several projects together and even helped build a house, she said.

"It was young love and true love," Yarbrough said. "Not just infatuation, but true love. That would have lasted for a lifetime. I truly believe they were actually soulmates."

Tony and Emily Potter lived in Miami, Okla., while Emily went to school at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Yarbrough said.

Potter was on the wrestling team at Okmulgee High School and was an honors student, she said.

Potter joined the Oklahoma National Guard to have a stronger sense of purpose and be able to serve others.

"He just believed in our country and wanted to serve our country and do something better with his life," Yarbrough said. "He was excited about what he was doing and proud to go and serve."

Army Pfc. Tony J. Potter Jr. was killed in action on 9/9/11.

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