Cookville soldier killed in Afghanistan - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Cookville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Staff Sergeant Chauncy R. Mays. Photo Source: Facebook Staff Sergeant Chauncy R. Mays. Photo Source: Facebook
Cookville, Texas Cookville, Texas

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

COOKVILLE, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas soldier has been killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that Staff Sergeant Chauncy R. Mays, 25, of Cookville, died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked the unit he was in with an improvised explosive device.

"It made me sick every time he had to leave, but I always thought he was coming back," said Matthew Terrell, Chauncy's best friend.

Matthew Terrell returned to Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays childhood home when he learned of his best friend's death. He says this is the place he feels closest to the fallen soldier.

"Every time he came in, we'd usually get together and me and him and his daddy would hang out and throw some horseshoes," said Terrell. "He was always talking about going back what he could do to help somebody else. I never understood it, but it takes a different kind of person to do that and we're all proud of him."

Terrell says Chauncy had an undeniable love for his country, and for the military.

"I never met anybody that was enthused, probably won't ever again about being in the army and help serve the country," said Terrell.

The childhood friends made thousands of memories at this home. Terrell says none compare to the last time he saw his best friend and the joy in his eyes.

"When he showed me his little girl for the first time was a pretty good memory. He was proud of her," said Terrell.

Terrell says this was supposed to be Chauncy's final tour overseas, before returning to his family.

"That was his third tour, sure was. I think it was going to be his last. He was going to be teaching after that," said Terrell.

Friends wrapped a yellow ribbon around a tree in Chauncy's front yard to honor the contribution he made to our country. Terrell says he can't be angry, because Chauncy died doing what he loved.

"That goes back to the heart, an enormous heart, brave," said Terrell. "I'm a big fellow but it's hard to describe what kind of heart it takes to do that. Special people...all of them...not just him...everybody over there."

Now Terrell can only wait until his best friend is home, at his final resting place.

Staff Sergeant Mays' family was in Greenville today making arrangements for their son's final resting place. They say right now, bad weather is delaying his return to the United States.

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