Army endures another tough summer

Last year the Army football lost three members during the off season. Off field accidents took the lives of First Lt. Mario Hill and yearling Ryan Morgan. First Lieutenant Chase Prasnicki was killed in action in Afghanistan last year. Now there is sad news that Army football experienced yet another death in its family with the tragic loss of former Co-Captain Tony Fusco.

Last year the Army football lost three members during the off season. Off field accidents took the lives of First Lt. Mario Hill and yearling Ryan Morgan. First Lieutenant Chase Prasnicki was killed in action in Afghanistan last year. Now there is sad news that Army football experienced yet another death in its family with the tragic loss of former Co-Captain Tony Fusco.

Some other West Point graduates carry unseen wounds back from the battlefield. Captain Tony Fusco was one of those warriors. As most Army fans know Tony lost his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and took his own life on May 14.

It was such a tragic senseless loss of the former Army football Co-Captain. Fusco was popular with many friends in and out of the service. Fusco's had been upset after his friend Captain Ryan Cook, who was a fellow member of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, had taken his own life two months earlier. Fusco and Cook had gone bowling the day before Cook committed suicide at his home in El Paso, Texas. Fusco had responded to Cook's home after the tragedy.

On the field Tony Fusco was a 308 pound run clogging defensive tackle during his career from (2005-2007). He was the type of wide body Army fans wish was still playing nose tackle with the present day Black Knights. Fusco appeared in 34 games and has started 26 games during his career.

Tony graduated from Watertown, Connecticut where he was Watertown's Most Valuable Player in 2003. He was a member of the National Honor Society and was a National Football Scholar Athlete selection in 2003.

He attended West Point on the advice of his grandfather Joseph McFadden. Tony graduated with a BS degree in Engineering on June 20, 2008. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery. He had served as an athletic intern for Army football for a year before attending Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Bliss, Texas in 2009. Captain Fusco was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery on January 27, 2010.

He deployed with the battalion to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from May 2011 through January 2012. Fusco served as the Battalion Chemical Officer for the next six months before he was assigned as the Headquarters Battery Executive Officer. Tony had earned the Army Commendation Award (1 oak leaf cluster), the Army Achievement Award (1 oak leaf cluster), the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon for his service.

Fusco is survived by wife Gerber who he married three years ago. His father George, his mother Kathy and his sister Kristine and his step parents and many family members. Tony was 27 years old. At ArmySports.com, on behalf of our readers, we send our condolences to Tony's family, teammates, coaches, classmates and friends. We remember Tony for his brave service to protect our freedom and liberty. Be Thou at Peace.

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