WO1 Judson Mount dies from injuries sustained in Iraq
By Carole Robinson, Staff Writer
First Warrant Officer Judson E. Mount, 37 died April 7 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas from complications from injuries received while serving his country on his second tour of duty in Iraq.
With his grandfather, Grady Gardner of Franklin, a World War II and Korean War hero by his side, Judson joined the Army in 1991, served seven years, left for seven years and in 2004, returned to the military life he loved so much, knowing he would be sent to Iraq, according to his mother, Joyce Mount of Franklin. He earned several honorable awards for his service, including the Purple Heart.
Joyce said Jud was a loving father and husband, dedicated to his family and his country and he had a wonderful sense of humor that still brings a smile to the face of anyone who knew him.
From the time he was old enough to walk, Jud jumped out of the bed every morning with a smile on his face, Joyce said smiling.
“He was always a clown – with a big heart,” she said. “Everybody thinks of him as a joker. He was the funniest guy, a good Christian and devoted to his wife Jennifer and his daughters,” Joyce said.
Growing up, his best friend was his older brother, Joey, Joyce said.
“Joey was always covering Jud’s back,” she recalled. “Now Jud was covering all of our backs while he was in the service.”
A roadside bomb near Baghdad, Iraq seriously injured Jud on Nov. 8 when his convoy vehicle was struck. Mount and one other in the vehicle were seriously injured, a third soldier was killed, and another escaped unharmed.
“He had shrapnel through both arms,” Joyce said. “He wasn’t hurt where he was covered by his vest. The only places there was damage were where he had no safety protection.”
His helmet and safety goggles saved him from serious injuries to his face.
“He was always in pain, but he never complained. He used his injuries to make everyone laugh. He never felt sorry for himself.”
Jud, a welder who was shuttled all over Iraq to repair vehicles, was taken to Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he underwent several surgeries, and then moved to Brooke Medical Center where he underwent more surgeries and reconstruction.
“In five months he had 13 surgeries and was lined up for three more,” Joyce said.
Jud was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., when he left for his second tour of Iraq and recently spent three weeks at home with his wife, Jennifer and two daughters, Shelby and Sydney.
“He had a great time with his family,” she said. “They drove back to San Antonio – he was so happy to finally have his own vehicle. They went on the River Walk just a few hours before he died.”
About a week before he died, Jud saw President Bush at the Center for the Intrepid, next to the hospital, Joyce said. The Center for the Intrepid is the world's most technologically advanced rehabilitation center for amputees and burn victims.
“Jud was so glad to see him – (Bush) goes there a lot,” she said.
During the funeral service, Ret. Col. Darrel Kilgore read an email he had received from Jud that filled the room with laughter and then said,” There will never be another Jud – his smile is unforgettable.”
At the request of his mother, when Jud returned from his first tour in Iraq, he brought back a footlocker filled with Iraqi war memorabilia for a display at the Williamson County Archives.
Judson Mount is survived by his wife Jennifer V. Mount, a Fairview High graduate; 13-year-old daughter Shelby & 6-year-old daughter Sydney; mother, Joyce G. Mount; father, James E. Mount (Marva); brother, Joey E. Mount; mother in-law, Wendy Verchota & father in-law, Lawrence Verchota of Fairview; sisters-in-law, Emily Verchota & Susan Warren.
Memorial services were held Monday, April 13, 2009 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin with Ret. Col. Darrel Kilgore officiating. Visitation was prior to the service at the funeral home.
Posted on: 4/16/2009