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Army Colonel dies after helping motorist change tire on VA highway

Col. Greg Townsend (Quartermaster School/Facebook)

An Alabama native and decorated Army hero died Monday from injuries he sustained after helping a motorist change a tire on a Virginia highway, his command said Wednesday.

Col. Gregory S. Townsend, 46, commander of the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at the Fort Lee Army Base in Virginia, died April 18 while aiding a stranded motorist on U.S. Highway 460, according to the U.S. Quartermaster School.

Townsend was driving on the highway on April 18 when he stopped to help a motorist change a tire. After he finished changing the tire, the vehicle fell on Townsend. He was taken by life flight helicopter to VCU Critical Care Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, where he received treatment until his death on Monday.

Townsend grew up in Alabama and attended Auburn University. Shortly after graduating Auburn, he entered the Army in May 1996 and was commissioned through ROTC into the Quartermaster Corps.

“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,” said Brig. Gen. Douglas M. McBride Jr., 55th Quartermaster General and commandant of the Quartermaster School. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family and friends during this very difficult time. His legacy as a servant leader will live on in the hearts and minds of all Soldiers that he has served with and led.”

He was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan before assuming command of the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at Fort Lee in July 2017.

Townsend was given a number of awards and decorations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Staff Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.


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