A n t h o n y Christian Andersen, 71, passed away at home in F l o r e n c e , s u r r o u n d e d by the love of his family on Feb. 2, 2017.
A n t h o n y " To n y " A n d e r s e n would like to let you know that his work here is done. He received a call that they have been "looking for Fast Eddy for some time now," which was not an easy task given his incognito nature, and it was an offer he could not refuse for an assignment from which he will not be returning.
This assignment comes with a huge sign-on bonus: a reunion with "The Legion," family and friends he has not seen for a long time and a new "mission" that takes him to a place where he will continue to live it up to his heart's content and truly be free.
Tony was born in Australia, where he and his mother, a World War II bride, left their beloved family and voyaged on the SS Monterey across the Pacific to reunite with his father, who served in the U.S. Army.
Tony's first passion in life was sparked when he was just three years old, when in snowy Kenosha, Wisc., he won first place for catching the biggest fish with his Uncle Edwin.
From there they moved to the golden state of California, where Tony excelled academically , dreamed of being a professional baseball player, and would sneak away to surf. As a young man he enlisted in the U.S. Army (1968) and was selected to attend Special Forces training, where he served a multitude of Special Forces Units 6th, 5th, 8th, 3rd Bn 7th, 1st Bn 10th SFGA's on SF Operational Detachment Alpha, and the most elite U.S. Military Unit to serve in the Vietnam War, the SOG- RT Kansas.
Anthony "Fast Eddie" Andersen was honorably discharged , receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, Two Bronze Stars, Two Purple Hearts, Army Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Metal, three Service Stars and many more.
These honors were rarely discussed because, like most veterans, he never talked about it until later in life.
Tony's military story and valor came to the surface when he returned to Vietnam in 2012 on a solo pilgrimage to find the remains of Sgt. Bruce Berg POW/MlA, and to honor all of his fallen team mates, followed by a joint POW/MIA Command mission in 2014, back to that Vietnam jungle mountain top but excavating to no avail. After Vietnam, Tony and his family were stationed in Panama. He was assigned to the HALO team and role as the "Jumping Ambassador," performing for dignitaries and Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) all over Central and South America. Upon leaving the service, he was engaged by Lockheed Aircraft in the top secret "Skunk Works Projects."
In civilian, life he followed many paths pursuing his insatiable sense for adventure from rural America, as a saloon and restaurant owner infamous for his Monday Night Football dinners and the "lronman Animalthon" contest.
Fluent in Spanish, he circled back into foreign lands as the director of marketing and sales for Consep, lnc., an innovator in environmentally friendly products for agriculture.
Tony's last years were spent on the Oregon coast, were he met his soulmate, Carley, and has enjoyed the camaraderie of the Elks and his poker and fishing buddies. He quietly gave to his community as a member of the Elks Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Special Operations Association and The Disabled American Veterans.
Tony embodied the motto: "De Oppresso Liber," or "Free the Oppressed," or to "Free from Oppression."
He is a hero who has finally received his welcome.
Tony left detailed instructions for us all to "celebrate life and your mission here" and his has now been completed. If you knew Tony, you would see him smile and say "low adherence to these instructions is unacceptable."
He is survived by his wife Carley; his daughters and sonsin-law : Susan and Marty Powarzynski, Michelle and Ron Clyborne, and Jamie and Tim Jablonski; his sisters and brother-in-law : Valerie Ward, and Lynn and Pete Rollo; three grandchildren: Justin Andersen, Andrew and Jenna Jablonski; two nephews and a daughterin-law : Jason and Elizabeth Rollo, and Shaun Ward; his beloved "Relos" in Australia, Wisconsin and the heartfelt friendships he cherished along the way. All are welcome to join in his life celebration with full military honors by the Special Forces 5th Group and 1st Group, which will take place Sunday, Feb. 19, beginning at 11 a.m., at the Florence Elks Lodge, 1686 12th St.
In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the following nonprofits :
The SOA Warrior Family Fund, Pete Buscetto, SOA Treasurer
CCS Recon SOG 934 Ashton Oaks Circle Lakeland, Florida 33813 863-669-7602 www.soafoundation.net, or; The Elks Children's Clinic at OHSU, or; Elks Lodge No. 1858 1686 12th Street Florence, OR 97438 541-997-2610 www.florenceelks.com