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Part of Interstate 55 to be dedicated to local fallen solider

On Saturday a portion of Interstate 55 will be dedicated in the name of a hometown hero who lost his life while overseas serving the country.

The portion of the interstate from exit 167 to exit 171 will be renamed “The sergeant Anthony R. Maddox Memorial Highway.”

Maddox lived in Bloomington-Normal and attended Chixxdex Junior High and Normal Community High School before moving to Texas.

His family says he left a lasting impact on everyone he met.

“I don’t think there is a day that goes why without someone saying a positive and grateful word to me or my family in honor of him,” Maddox’s father Jerome Maddox said.

Illinois lawmakers passed the resolution to dedicate the highway in November, just one day before what would have been Maddox’s 28th birthday.

“It was joy, it was sad at the same time. We were just thrilled because it’s another way to keep his name alive and to just continue to be a great tribute to his legacy and his service and sacrifice,” Madox’s stepmother Frances Maddox said.

After graduating from high school Maddox decided that serving his country was his destiny.

“I remember right before he was deployed he came home and he indicated to us that he wanted to make the army a career. He wanted to become a ranger,” his father said.

Before being deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 the then 22-year-old Anthony Maddox reenlisted in the army. Seven months after leaving home he was in an accident that left him with burns over 97 percent of his boy. He died two days later.

“To do his duty, to put his life on the line and leave it there. For others to remember him is humbling and we feel great about it,” his father said.

There will be a motorcycle procession at 4 p.m. this Saturday prior to the dedication ceremony beginning at VFW Post 454 located at 1006 E. Lincoln St., Bloomington, Illinois. The dedication ceremony will be at 6 p.m. For more information contact Frances Maddox at (309)-825-5121.

Stephanie Rodriguez

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