Army Sgt. Anthony O. Magee
Died April 27, 2010 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom
29, of Hattiesburg, Miss.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April at Landstul Regional Medical Center, Germany of wounds sustained April 24 at Contingency Operating Base Kalsu, Iskandariyah, Iraq, when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire.
(The following was taken from www.clarionledger.com of May 8, 2010) HATTIESBURG — Sgt. Anthony O. Magee, 29, of Hattiesburg, returned home for the final time when a Kalitta Charters jet carrying his flag-draped coffin touched down at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport at 7:22 a.m. Friday.
Magee died April 27 from wounds suffered three days earlier when his unit came under indirect fire at Contingency Operating Base Kasul in Iskandariyah, Iraq. He was a member of the United
States Army's 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Ga.
Magee is the second soldier from the Hattiesburg area killed in a 20-day span during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. William Anthony Blount, 21, of Petal was killed April 7 by a roadside explosive device in Mosul, Iraq.
"This is something we should do," said Maxine Coleman, neighborhood coordinator for the city,
who stood at Pine Street and Second Avenue to pay her respects as the funeral procession passed. "He gave his life for our freedom.
"I can't imagine what his family is going through. It could have been my son. I have kids that age."
About 25 members of Magee's family were at the edge of the airport tarmac Friday, one grasping a small American flag that rippled in the breeze.
The Mississippi Honor Guard Team from Jackson met Magee's casket at the airport.
An escort of law enforcement from Hattiesburg Police Department, Forrest County Sheriff's Office, Petal Police Department, University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, followed by a formation of Patriot Guard Riders, led the procession down I-59.
From there, the line traveled along the Evelyn Gandy Parkway and Glendale Avenue, before winding past Hattiesburg High School and other central Hattiesburg neighborhoods before arriving at Hall's-Fairley Mortuary at 701 Hall Ave.
The halls of Hattiesburg High were silent Friday morning as students filed along Hutchinson Avenue to catch a glimpse of the hearse.
"A young man, young man," said Madeline Hayes, who worked for six years at the Hattiesburg Police Department with Magee's father, Tony Davis. "It just hurts. I feel the pain that the family feels."
Magee graduated from Hattiesburg High in 2000, and his father, Tony Davis, is the chief of resource officers for the Hattiesburg Public School district.
HHS senior Laquita McDonald gasped and tried to fight back tears as she saw Davis' face as the vehicle he was in slowly passed.
"Hattiesburg High loves Chief Davis so to see him like that, it's sad," she said. "He is like a father to us and is there all the time to help us any way he can."
HHS Principal Robert Sanders said Davis has a great relationship with students and felt it was imperative for them to understand that Magee made the ultimate sacrifice for them and his country.
"He was a graduate and we consider him a hero. It is only befitting to participate," he said.
As Leisha Weathersby stood outside, she had nothing but kind words to say about Magee, whom she taught in her Algebra I class when he was a ninth-grader.
"He was one of the nicest people," she said. "He was sincere and hard-working in and out of school. This is a bittersweet moment. It was an honor and privilege to teach him, and I wish I had 101 students like him."
Patty Bove, of Hattiesburg, was parked in front of the school at 7:45 a.m. While she waited, she draped an American flag over her car to honor Magee.
Emma R. Pope was Magee's third-grade teacher. She was one of the first to arrive Friday to get a glimpse of the procession.
"I knew his father and would ask about him from time to time," she said. "He was a respectable child in school. I'm paying my respect to the family."
The funeral of Sgt. Anthony Magee's will be 1 p.m. today at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Eastabuchie, with burial in Venia Park in Collins. The service will be streamed live and can be seen at www.shadygrove-church.org.