Bronze Star recipient killed helping stranded motorist change tire in Virginia

An Army colonel and Bronze Star recipient who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan died for injuries sustained while helping a stranded motorist in Virginia last week, a report said.

Col. Gregory S. Townsend, 46, who joined the Army in 1996, was changing another driver’s tire on a freeway south of Richmond Thursday when the vehicle fell on him, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He was airlifted to the hospital where he died on Monday, the Army said.

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Townsend had deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and 2009 and to Afghanistan in 2009. He was assigned most recently as a commander at the U.S. Army Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, according to the report.

“The loss of Col. Greg Townsend is devastating for his family and the Army. He was a dedicated leader and the most genuine man you could meet,” Brig. Gen. Douglas M. McBride Jr., of the Quartermaster School, said.

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Along with the Bronze Star, Townsend had also received the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Staff Commendation Medal and an Army Commendation Medal, the paper reported.