‘It was the most contagious smile’: Community remembers Wilmington soldier Antonio Moore

‘It was the most contagious smile’: Community remembers Wilmington soldier Antonio Moore

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Days after his death, a Wilmington service member continues to touch the lives of friends in the community.

Army Specialist Antonio I. Moore died while he was deployed overseas. He was serving in Syria, performing a route clearing operation when he was involved in a rollover accident and died.

Moore graduated from Hoggard High School in 2016. He played football all four years. Craig Underwood, Hoggard’s head football coach, said Moore didn’t know a stranger.

“You can see this guy that has this glowing smile and personality, but he also knew when to be very intense and to go get his job done and I think that’s one of the things that lead him to joining to the military," said Underwood.

Coach Underwood said Tony worked just as hard off the field as he did on it.

Moore worked as a line cook at Katy’s Bar and Grill when he wasn’t playing football or at school. Coworkers say he was like a family.

“I remember when he was kind of toying with the idea and we were all just kinda like ‘you’re going to join the military?! You’re going to leave us?'" said coworker Kristen Moore. “We never wanted him to leave us. It’s a family. I could always go to him when I was having a bad and he would always cheer me up.”

Kristen said Tony was hired right before she was. She said he was the light of the restaurant and made a lasting impact on everyone he met.

Antonio "Tony" Moore (source: Kristen Moore)
Antonio "Tony" Moore (source: Kristen Moore) (Source: Kristen Moore)

“If everyone else was having a bad day, all you had to do was look at Tony," said Kristen. "Big smile. Big teddy bear. He’ll take care of your negativity real quick with that smile.”

“We’re just really grateful for his service and ultimately, his sacrifice,” said Underwood.

Moore is survived by his parents and three siblings. Details have not yet been released on his funeral plans.

Fellow soldiers placed the nametapes from their uniforms and their unit patches on Spec. Antonio Moore's casket prior to the dignified transfer of remains on Saturday, January 25. (Source: US Army photo by Spec. Angel Ruszkiewicz)
Fellow soldiers placed the nametapes from their uniforms and their unit patches on Spec. Antonio Moore's casket prior to the dignified transfer of remains on Saturday, January 25. (Source: US Army photo by Spec. Angel Ruszkiewicz) (Source: Spc. Angel Ruszkiewicz)

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