Okmulgee Soldier Laid To Rest

Saturday, September 17th 2011, 10:30 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -- The youngest Oklahoma National Guard soldier killed in the war on terror was laid to rest Saturday in Okmulgee.

Private First Class Tony Potter, Jr. was 20-years-old, but he left quite an impression on friends at such a young age.

The service for Pfc. Tony Potter was private, but friends were happy to share their memories outside the First Baptist Church.

"If you met him anywhere, you would just, just - he had a vibe about him that just made you feel good," Samuel Trout, a friend, said.

"I do know that every time I've ever seen him, he had a smile on his face," said Edania Fisher, an Okmulgee native. "I've never heard anything but nice things about him."

Potter died September 9 in Afghanistan when his team was hit by small arms fire.

The 2010 Okmulgee High School graduate actually enlisted in the infantry before he got his diploma.

This was his first deployment.

9/11/2011 Related Story: Three Oklahoma Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

"When I heard it on the news, I didn't believe it at first," Trout said. "I thought they were talking about a different Tony Joe. Then they showed the picture and it really hit home."

Loved ones said he was an outstanding athlete and served our country with that same passion.

Some residents came to the funeral just for his family.

Okmulgee native Edania Fisher said she went to the funeral "to let them know that our community loves them, that we appreciate their loss and are here for them, would do anything to help them. We know it's not going to ease their pain, but to let them know that their community supports them."

Family was Potter's priority, and he had just started his own. He married his love, Emily, last year and they were expecting their first child in the spring.

"He was very excited about this and I know it's going to be very hard for her to do this without him," Fisher said.

Private First Class Potter was buried at the Okmulgee Cemetery.

The Department of Defense announced his death on September 11th, ten years to the day of the terrorist attacks on America that started the war.