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Army Sgt. Philip A. Dodson Jr.

Died December 2, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


42, of Forsyth, Ga.; assigned to the 148th Forward Support Battalion, 48th Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard, Forsyth, Ga.; died Dec. 2 of injuries sustained earlier that day when his truck accidentally rolled over at Tallil Air Base, Iraq. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Philip L. Travis and Spc. Marcus S. Futrell.

Hundreds pay tribute to killed soldier

Associated Press

FORSYTH, Ga. — Hundreds paid tribute on Saturday to Sgt. Philip Allan Dodson Jr., who died this month in Iraq in a vehicle accident.

Dodson, 42, a corrections officer who was serving in the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Brigade, died Dec. 2 when his Humvee overturned while in a military convoy.

Spc. Marcus S. Futrell, 20, of Macon, and Staff Sgt. Philip L. Travis, 41, of Snellville, also died in the accident.

Chaplain Rod Callahan, shared memories of his former co-worker, who was dubbed “rabbitman” for his love of hunting and known as a wily practical joker who once put rocks in a lieutenant’s hubcaps.

While he liked to pull pranks, friends and family said Dodson was serious about his commitment to serving others.

One day, a young Dodson came home from school without his shirt. He had given his to someone whose shirt had been ripped off, he told his mother.

“He had a reputation of helping other people,” Callahan said.

In Iraq, Dodson was responsible for repairing generators, but he had volunteered to be a machine gunner on convoys three days a week, said his father, Phil Dodson Sr.

“My son was a very gung-ho person,” Dodson Sr. said. “He would get up on his foot locker to recite the soldiers’ creed and wake up the young guys.”

Dodson leaves a wife, Melissa, and a daughter, Allison, who turned 16 in August — the last time her father was home for a two-week visit.

Callahan read a statement from Dodson’s wife, Melissa, to the crowd of hundreds in the packed auditorium.

“If it wasn’t for men like him, we wouldn’t have the freedom we have,” his wife wrote. “He believed in what they were doing in Iraq. He felt like it was his duty.”


Soldier in Georgia National Guard dies in Iraq

The Associated Press

MACON, Ga. — Spc. Philip Allan Dodson Jr., a member of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade Combat Team, died Dec. 2 in Iraq in a vehicle accident, his father, Phil Dodson Sr., said Dec. 4.

Dodson, 42, was from Forsyth, Ga. He leaves a wife, Melissa, and a daughter, Allison, who turned 16 in August — the last time her father was home for a two-week visit.

The Army only told the family that Dodson died when the Humvee he was in overturned near Ali Air Base in the southern Dhi Quar province, Dodson’s father said. He added he didn’t know whether his son was on a combat mission when he died.

Dodson was responsible for repairing generators, but he had volunteered to be a machine gunner on convoys three days a week, according to his father.

“My son was a very gung-ho person,” Dodson Sr. said. “He would get up on his foot locker to recite the soldiers’ creed and wake up the young guys.”

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