It is always sad when we hear that a veteran who risked his life for our country lost his life in a tragic accident back here at home.
Unfortunately, that is the tale of Col. Gregory S. Townsend, who had stopped to help a stranger on the road when he was killed in a freak accident.
Flat Tire Leads to Untimely Death
According to reports, Col. Townsend had stopped to help someone when he saw they had a flat tire.
The colonel had just finished changing the tire when the jack apparently collapsed and the car fell on him.
Col. Townsend was taken to VCU Critical Care Hospital via a life flight helicopter, but he succumbed to his injuries several days later.
The colonel was just 46.
Friends, Family Mourn Decorated Leader
The collection of badges on the colonel’s chest was impressive and well-earned.
In all, Townsend had been deployed three times, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.
Among the medals he won for his service were a Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, a Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal.
When word of his passing had traveled to his troops and fellow officers, it was obvious that those awards were well-deserved.
Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride Jr. said the loss of Townsend was “devastating” to both the Army and his family.
He characterized Townsend as a “dedicated leader and the most genuine man you could meet.”
We thank you for your service to our country, Col. Townsend. You will be missed.