ANC Website Top BANNER 2
William Madden Amundson, Jr.
Corporal, United States Army
Texas State Flag
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1053-04
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2004
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Corporal William M. Amundson Jr., 21, of The Woodlands, Texas, died October 19, 2004, in Afghanistan when the vehicle in which he was riding rolled over.  Amundson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia.

            The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, call Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.



WM Amundson Jr. PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of LeAnn McGinnis

Combat Infantryman's Badge
 

Friday, October 22, 2004

Ranger dies in Afghanistan
Mortarman had been participating in ground assault when vehicle wrecked
BY MICK WALSH AND ANGELIQUE SOENARIE
Courtesy of the Ledger (Columbus, Georgia)

William Amundson Sr. wasn't ready to hear the news when a U.S. Army chaplain and a sergeant knocked on his door Tuesday evening.

His son, a 21-year-old Ranger from Fort Benning, was killed Monday in Afghanistan when the vehicle in which he was riding rolled over.

Corporal William M. Amundson Jr., a mortarman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was participating in a ground assault force infiltration in eastern Afghanistan.

"I couldn't hear anything else they were saying. I could see their mouths moving. I just fell apart," said his father, of Plano, Texas. "My son was my best friend. He was my purpose in life for many years. "

It was the third Ranger deployment for the native of The Woodlands, Texas. He had deployed to Afghanistan earlier this month and previously had served in Iraq.

The last time Amundson Sr. heard from his son was on Sept. 29 and, for the first time, his son said he was worried, his father said.

"He told me, 'I love you. I'll call you when I get back' " his father said. "I didn't know what to think at the time. I worry about him all the time. He was very confident. He was very respectful. He knew what he was doing and he was trained very well. The only thing that has kept me going is his training and faith in God ever since he was in the service. My hats off to the Army and the Ranger training."

Amundson's death brings to eight the number of Rangers killed since the war on terrorism was declared following the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

George Amundson Jr., his grandfather, said being a Ranger was the young Amundson's dream.

"Little Bill had wanted to be a Ranger as far as I can remember," his grandfather said. "He was in ROTC in high school. He was very patriotic and he was very much a Christian. Bill knew there were risks. He knew if he died that he was going to heaven because he accepted the Lord as his savior."

Amundson enlisted in the Army in May 2001, and completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an indirect fire infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Training Detachment, 75th Ranger Regiment.

He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in November 2001, and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He served there as a 60 mm mortar gunner.

Amundson was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, a representative of the Army Special Operations Command said.

He is survived by his parents, Michele Sanderson of Montgomery, Texas, and William Amundson Sr. of Plano, Texas.

The family will hold a wake Monday in Conroe, Texas. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, a memorial service will be held at Lakeside Bible Church in Montgomery, Texas.

No date has been set for the burial which will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


Oct. 22, 2004, 12:38AM

Woodlands soldier dies in Afghanistan
Young corporal was part of the elite Ranger corps

By LA MONICA EVERETT-HAYNES
Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
 

WM Amundson Jr. PHOTO
Corporal William M. Amundson

A 21-year-old Ranger from The Woodlands was killed Monday in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in overturned, Army officials said Thursday.

Corporal William M. Amundson had been deployed to Afghanistan earlier this month as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was participating in an operation in the eastern part of the country when he was killed.

Amundson is the second known person from the Houston area to die in Operation Enduring Freedom. Brian Craig was killed April 15, 2002, in Kandahar while dismantling confiscated rockets.

Amundson, who had previously served in Iraq, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia. 

After enlisting in 2001, Amundson completed training at Fort Benning, where he graduated from the Basic Airborne Course. He was later assigned to the Ranger Training Detachment, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Upon his graduation from the Ranger Indoctrination Program at the end of that year, Amundson was assigned to his battalion and served as a 60 mm mortar gunner.

Amundson was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal, according to the Army.

Amundson had also received Army Commendation, National Defense Service and Armed Forces Expeditionary medals. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman and Expert Infantryman badges and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Award.

Survivors include his parents, Michele Sanderson of Montgomery and William Amundson Sr. of Plano.



23 October 2004:

When Corporal William "Bill" Madden Amundson Jr., 21, left for his fourth overseas tour last month in the global war on terror, his friends and family members never thought it would be his last.

"Bill was for the war and believed in it," said his mother, Michele Sanderson, of Montgomery. "He hated down time; he wanted to be in the action."

But Amundson, who was taking part in a ground assault force infiltration, would not return after the vehicle he was riding in rolled over in east Afghanistan Monday and killed him.

Ironically, Sanderson said, she worried more about him when participating in his favorite hobby -- riding dirt bikes.

"He really tore it up," she said. "We just bought 62 acres (in Montgomery) so there would be room to ride.

"He really wanted to come home and try it out."

Amundson, who was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal this week, completed two previous tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq prior to his last trip.

His military career after ROTC started just three days after he graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 2001 and left for basic training in Georgia, said Amundson's stepfather, Mark Sanderson, who married Michelle when Bill was 5 years old.
"He came home from school his junior year and told us he joined the Army," Mark Sanderson recalled. "Bill was so laid back, I didn't know if he would make it through boot camp.

"But when he came back, he was no longer a kid; he was a man."

Mark said Amundson was zoned to attend The Woodlands High School because of where the family lived but opted for Oak Ridge because of the ROTC program. He also ran cross country and track.

"Bill loved his president and wasn't fearful at all," Michele Sanderson said. "I had a long conversation with God when Bill signed up and let Him know I would trust Him even if (Bill) didn't come home.

"I know he was doing what he loved, but I am going to miss him so bad."
Amundson also leaves behind a 13-year-old sister, Megan Sanderson, 11-year-old brother, Taylor Sanderson, and father, William Amundson Sr., of Plano.
Michele Sanderson said she likes to remember Bill's humorous side through which he displayed his love of family.

The last time Amundson came home, his mother said he went to see Megan, a Montgomery Junior High drill team member, perform.

"He kept shouting her name to embarrass her," Michele said. "All the girls would fawn over him.

"Megan thought he hung the moon."

In typical big brother fashion, Amundson also liked to roughhouse with Taylor and once stuck his face in the dog's water bucket.

"Taylor came up spitting out water."

Michele said Amundson, who was quite the ladies' man, was extremely affectionate, never hesitating to kiss her on the cheek or hug her in public.

"He was a big guy and had tattoos," she said. "Every time he got one, we'd say 'not another one.' But as soon as he opened his mouth, you knew how sweet he was."
The Sandersons said their faith in God and prayers from family and friends keep them going each day.

A good number of those prayers are coming from Oak Ridge High School, where Master Sgt. Bob Murphy, an Air Force Junior ROTC instructor, taught Amundson on the ROTC drill team.

"He was an average student, but a clean-cut young man who was promoted throughout his tenure," Murphy said. "Our hearts go out to his family; we are real proud of him."

Murphy said the week has been exceptionally hard for the high school's ROTC program after losing another former student, Brandon Smith, a 23-year-old member of the U.S. Navy, in a stabbing incident last weekend.

Smith's death at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville has been ruled a homicide.

"We taught his sister and his wife," Murphy said.

Those interested in helping the family with funeral expenses can donate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today at Montgomery High School, located at 22825 Texas 105 W., during the Montgomery Junior High Bells' Fall Show that Megan is a part of. Call Caren Sloane at (936) 447-2005 or Sandy O'Brien at (936) 672-0732 for more information or to make a donation.

Amundson's viewing will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday at Metcalf Funeral Home at 1801 E White Oak Terrace in Conroe. Amundson will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The public is also invited to attend a memorial service for him at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lakeside Bible Church on Freeport Drive in Montgomery.

A member of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Benning, Georgia, Amundson was an indirect fire infantryman, according to Army records. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Training Detachment, 75th Ranger Regiment. He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in November 2001, then was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He served as a 60 mm gunner.

During his service, Amundson received several awards and decorations, including the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge with combat jump device. He was also awarded the German Parachutist Badge.

Amundson is the second Montgomery County soldier to die taking part in the War on Terror.

Staff Sergeant Gary Collins, 32, a 1990 graduate of Magnolia High School, was killed November 9, 2003. Collins was killed while riding in a Bradley fighting vehicle that hit an improvised explosive device, Department of Defense officials said. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment and 1st Infantry Division based in Fort Riley, Kansas.



26 October 2004:

Family, friends and onlookers filled Metcalf Funeral Home Tuesday for the viewing for Corporal William "Bill" Madden Amundson Jr. Monday.

Amundson, 21, died October 18, 2004, in Afghanistan serving oversees for the fourth time. He had served twice previously in Afghanistan and once in Iraq.

He served in the Third Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as a 60-millimeter gunner. 
Many took advantage of their last opportunity to see Amundson as he rested in a coffin draped in the American flag.

"He was doing what he thought was right," said Mike McGinnis, his grandfather. "He served because he loved his country."

Bill was doing what he wanted and his family was proud of him, McGinnis said.

His aunt Melissa Parker said Amundson had been happy every day of his life. "He draws everyone to him."

"He was tender, loving and kind. Bill would give anyone the shirt off his back to help them out," she said.

"Bill was the ray of sunshine in our family," Parker said. "Now there's a big whole because none of the rest of us have that gift."

Amundson also had a smile on his face, she said. "You never saw him without a big grin."

Parker agreed that Amundson loved what he was doing in the military. "He loved our country and he loved our President (George W. Bush). He saw it as an honor to serve."

He was humble he didn't like to brag about himself. He had medals he hadn't even told his family about," she said. "We had no idea that he was that decorated. He didn't tell us."

While serving Amundson was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Expert Infantryman's Badge and Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star along with the German Parachutist Badge.

In addition, Amundson posthumously received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal last week.

The family is devastated by the loss, Parker said. "He was the sweetest, most loving kid who ever lived.

"My children are devastated," she said. Parker and her sister are very close. 
"Our children grew up together," Parker said.

It was good to see so many people at the showing who cared about Amundson, she said. But it was also hard to see all these young people crying.

"It's not supposed to be that way, when you look into a casket you're not supposed to see someone young," Parker said.She said Amundson understood the risks of serving his country oversees. "He knew what could happen, but he said that's okay if I have to go I'm ready.

"He had a love for his God and a deep faith," Parker said.

A memorial service will be held for Amundson today at 11 a.m. at Lakeside Bible Church on Freeport Drive in Montgomery. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on October 29, 2004.


Memorial service held for Ranger who died in Afghanistan
27 October 2004

MONTGOMERY, Texas - The mother and stepfather of a Ranger who died in Afghanistan during his third mission of Operation Enduring Freedom read a letter from the 21-year-old during his memorial service.

"We are here doing the dirty work, and we will continue that to the best we can, even if that means dying for your country," Corporal William M. "Bill" Amundson Jr. wrote to his family in March, before he was deployed for a mission overseas.

Michele Sanderson and her husband, Mark, read the letter to about 300 people gathered Tuesday at the memorial service to honor Amundson, who died October 18, 2004.

Amundson wrote the letter before he was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He survived the mission, then was redeployed to Afghanistan. Amundson was killed when a vehicle he was in overturned.

"What a strong and responsible young man he grew to be," his grandfather, George W. Amundson Jr. told those gathered at Lakeside Bible Church in Montgomery. "He was and still is a hero in our eyes."

Amundson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Mike Deans, Amundson's cousin, said Amundson's great-grandfather was part of the "greatest generation" that fought during World War II.

"In years to come, these young men and women fighting this global war against terrorism will only be known as the greatest generation of the 21st century," he said.

Amundson joined the military in 2001 after graduating from Oak Ridge High School. After completing training at Fort Benning, he was later assigned to the Ranger Training Detachment, 75th Ranger Regiment. Amundson served as a 60 mm mortar gunner.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. He received many more decorations before his death.

Amundson was known as "Little Bill" to the family of his biological father, William "Bill" Amundson Sr.

Amundson grew up in The Woodlands with his mother and stepfather but spent summers with his father and grandparents in Plano.

Amundson will be buried Friday at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.


Ranger's own words read at his memorial
He spoke of dedication in a letter written to family before overseas deployment
By ROBERT CROWE
Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle
27 October 2004

When it came time for Michele Sanderson and her husband, Mark, to memorialize her son, they turned to words the fallen Ranger had written.

"We are here doing the dirty work, and we will continue that to the best we can, even if that means dying for your country," Corporal William M. "Bill" Amundson Jr. wrote in a letter to his family in March, before he was deployed for a mission overseas.

The couple read the letter at a memorial service Tuesday honoring 21-year-old Amundson, who died October 18, 2004, in Afghanistan, during his third mission of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Amundson wrote the letter before he was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He survived the mission, then was redeployed to Afghanistan. Amundson was killed when a vehicle he was in overturned.

"What a strong and responsible young man he grew to be," his grandfather George W. Amundson Jr. told some 300 people at the service at Lakeside Bible Church in Montgomery. "He was and still is a hero in our eyes."

Amundson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Mike Deans, Amundson's cousin, said Amundson's great-grandfather was part of the "greatest generation" that fought during World War II.

"In years to come, these young men and women fighting this global war against terrorism will only be known as the greatest generation of the 21st century," he said.

Amundson joined the military in 2001 after graduating from Oak Ridge High School, where friends had said they considered him one of the fastest rifle spinners on the school's ROTC program. His family also had said he was an avid dirt bike rider who was known to crave chocolate shakes and smoothies.

After completing training at Fort Benning, he was later assigned to the Ranger Training Detachment, 75th Ranger Regiment. Amundson served as a 60 mm mortar gunner.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. He received many more decorations before his death.

Amundson was known as "Little Bill" to the family of his biological father, William "Bill" Amundson Sr.

"But he was big in physical size and big in heart and in his love for helping others," Cathy Walker, a great-aunt, said at the service.

Amundson grew up in The Woodlands with his mother and stepfather but spent summers with his father and grandparents in Plano.

His mother and fellow Rangers said he had prepared to die for his country.

"Because he knew. You just know when God calls you home," Michele Sanderson said. The 300 people in attendance Tuesday sang Amazing Grace, in accordance with Amundson's wishes.

Sanderson also read aloud a poem prepared by Amundson's aunt, Melissa Parker.

"People were naturally drawn to him. Anyone that met him immediately liked him," Sanderson said, reading from the poem. "This character trait was really God-given. For me, it was that great big smile prevalent in all his pictures."

Todd Ware, a youth group leader at StoneBridge Church in The Woodlands, said he only recently realized that he had an impact on Amundson's faith.

"The faith that we talked about really kicked in when he left home," Ware said.

Amundson will be buried Friday at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.



WM Amundson Jr. Funeral Services PHOTO

WM Amundson Jr. Funeral Services PHOTO
Presentation of the American Flag to Bill's mother and step father.

Photos By David E. Luke, Family Friend



WM Amundson Jr. Funeral Services PHOTO
Photo By Corporal Amundson's Grandmother: LeAnn McGinnis
AMUNDSON, WILLIAM MADDEN JR

CPL   US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 10/19/2003 - 10/18/2004
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/04/1983
DATE OF DEATH: 10/18/2004
DATE OF INTERMENT: 10/29/2004
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 7966
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 22 October 2004  Updated: 23 October 2004  Updated: 26 October 2004 Updated: 27 October 2004 Updated: 1 November 2004 Updated: 7 November 2004  Updated: 22 November 2004 Updated: 4 December 2004  Updated: 15 March 2005  Updated: 21 August 2005 Updated: 15 May 2008
US Army Ranger TAB
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze Star Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WM Amundson Jr. Gravesite PHOTO May 2008
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008

WM Amundson Jr. Gravesite PHOTO
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 2 December 2004