TALLAHASSEE, FL, US
PFC, COMPANY D, 2ND BN, 327TH INFANTRY REGT, 1 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
07/08/2010, COP MONTI, AFGHANISTAN
The loss of a local hero, Private First Class Anthony Simmons, has drawn support from the entire community and Governor Charlie Crist. Almost 400 people showed up Tuesday morning to Northwoods Baptist church to pay their respects to Private First Class Simmons.
The 25 year old fallen soldier died July 8th during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan with the United States Army. The Tallahassee native was remembered today by family, fellow military members, and friends in an hour long ceremony. For some, this tearful goodbye was the first they’d seen of Anthony in years.
At one this afternoon Simmons’ body will be buried at Roselawn Cemetery with full military honors. Governor Crist has asked that all state and local flags in Leon County be flown at half-staff today in honor of Private Simmons.
The pictures speak for themselves. Private First Class Anthony Simmons had quite the personality.
“He’s funny. He always had crazy little gestures. He’s the loud guy, you always hear the loud guy. You could hear him talking a mile away,” said Tony Williams, Simmons’ long time friend.
“Ant” – as most of his friends call him, was known as the life of the party, the jokester, and always looking for a good time.
“He didn’t have any problems making friends. He’d make a friend in a heartbeat. Never afraid to talk to strangers, he was wide open to anybody he met,” added Williams.
The Tallahassee native is a graduate of Godby High School and took classes at TCC before enlisting. Simmons, who was 25, died while serving his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was part of the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. His younger brother, Nick Simmons, is part of the same battalion and escorted his brother’s body back to Florida.
While family and friends await more information on how their hero died, they’re taking solace in the memories of his vibrant personality and the way he brought out so many smiles. “He will be missed, but he won’t be forgotten. Never,” said Williams.