As some of you may remember, on January 20, 2010, Arizona Highways lost a dear friend. Sergeant Thaddeus Montgomery was killed in action while serving his country in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. Before his untimely death, Sergeant Montgomery sent Robert Stieve an email with a pretty simple request: he asked if we could send him a few issues of the magazine; something to help the sergeant and his buddies pass the time and provide a break, really, from the horrors of war. We were more than happy to oblige and then some… We also sent care packages to Sergeant Montgomery and members of his platoon… just our way of saying, thank you so much for doing what you do.
After receiving the boxes, the sergeant sent the Highways team a thank you email, but it was the young man’s incredibly humble last line that really hit home: “If there is anything I can do in return, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Although we never got the chance to meet Sergeant Montgomery, we were incredibly sad to learn of his untimely passing. So were many of you. One reader, who was recently at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of her own husband, found the sergeant’s headstone.
She photographed Sergeant Montgomery’s final resting place and sent it to us. “I thought maybe your readers would like to see that he is buried in the most honored and beautiful place in our country,” she wrote in an email. “Much deserved, for Thaddeus paid the ultimate price for keeping our country free.”
Rest in peace Sergeant Thaddeus Montgomery. You are a friend and true American hero.
September 21, 1980-January 20, 2010