A Tallahassee soldier has died leaving family and friends in grief over the loss. Army Private First Class, Travis Dowd, was found dead in his barracks in Fort Hood earlier this week. The cause of death is not known.
Travis Dowd is one of three soldiers to die at Ft. Hood since July 29th. The 2004 Chiles High School grad was a well known football player for the Timberwolves, but more than that, he was a good friend.
Kyle Curry, a close friend of Travis Dowd, says it's time to cherish the old high school memories more than ever before. While holding up an old football picture he said, "This was the last time we were all on the football field together, that's the whole offensive line. That was the last game that we ever played together."
Instead of remembering the loss, Kyle will remember the attitude that made Dowd tough. "Oh, he was a hard nose son of a gun. He was the captain of our offensive line." said Curry.
It was his football days at Chiles that prepared him for the armed forces. It was also there where he earned the respect of those that knew him and tonight, friends and family are still in shock over the loss.
Tammy Cone, a close family friend and a staff member is supporting Travis's mother during this tough time. She says his Mom, Debbie Dowd, received the terrible news early this week. "He didn't report to the field ops. He was supposed to. They came and checked on him and, you know, they found him unresponsive." said Cone.
A wall is dedicated to Chiles' nearly 60 alumni defenders and of them, Dowd is the first one to pass away..
"The hardest thing is just knowing that a great friend I'm never going to get to see again. The guy with the greatest laugh of all time." said Curry.
And he wasn't the only one to recall Dowd's charm. Cone said, "He just handles his business on the football field, but he's got a laugh that would melt your heart."
At this time, the cause of death has not been released, but Army officials are still investigating Dowd's death as well as another soldier who died August 4th.
A funeral and memorial service for Travis Dowd has been scheduled for Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the Culley Funeral Home on Timberlane Road. Those who would like send condolences can send contributions to Tammy Cone at Chiles High School or Sea Stars Aquatics, an organization the Dowd family strongly supports. It is a non-profit swim club for handicap kids, developed and run by Travis Dowd's older brother, Charlie, and his wife Robin.
Sea Stars Aquatics
5425 Hibiscus Road
Pensacola Florida 32504