Fort Bragg, N.C. — An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper was killed Monday in western Afghanistan, the military announced Friday.
Pfc. Billy G. Anderson, 20, of Alexandria, Tenn., died when an improvised explosive device detonated during a dismounted patrol in the Badghis Province.
Anderson was a combat engineer with Company A, 508th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team. He deployed to Afghanistan in March.
“Pfc. Anderson was always motivated, and he always had a big grin on his face,” his platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Samnang Long, said. “It seemed like nothing could bring him down. I consider it to be a great honor to have had him as a soldier under me.”
Anderson enlisted in the Army last June and completed basic and advanced training at Fort Leonard Wood, then airborne school at Fort Benning. He was stationed at Fort Bragg in November.
“Even though I only knew him for a short time as platoon leader, he instantly made an impression on me as a motivated young soldier with a positive attitude and great outlook on life,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Newell. “He will not be forgotten by the members of this platoon, and I can only hope more soldiers will follow his example and personal demeanor.”
Anderson’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge and Basic Parachutist’s Badge.
Anderson is survived by his wife Caitlin, his daughter Lilly, his mother Patricia Goodwin and his father Billy Anderson.
A memorial in his honor will be held in Afghanistan.