Posted: 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013
Group demands investigation into woman’s death
By Tiffany Y. Latta
A foundation issued a statement Wednesday urging a full investigation into the death of a local woman who was killed while working overseas as a civilian defense contractor.
Christina Maddock, a Fairborn High School graduate and former member of the Springfield Air National Guard Base, died on Sunday after she was shot in a non-combat related incident.
She has joined a growing number of contractors who have been killed in Afghanistan, said Philip Smith, president and executive director of the Afghanistan Foundation in Washington, D.C.
The number of contractor deaths has at times outpaced those of U.S. military members, Smith said, as 430 American contract employees were killed in Afghanistan in 2011, compared to 418 soldiers the same year.
He wants the military provide a “full disclosure” of the circumstances that led to Maddock’s death.
“Enemy forces in Afghanistan continue to target and kill American contract employees and non-governmental aid workers at an alarming rate,” Smith said in a written statement.
Maddock, 27, was deployed to Afghanistan in mid-January as a field support representative with Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Intelligent Software Solutions.
The company didn’t return requests for comment on Wednesday. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment Wednesday evening.
Army spokesmen have said her death doesn’t appear to be a suicide and an investigation could take weeks or longer.
Maddock was a 2003 Fairborn High School and 2009 Wright State University graduate.
She worked in public affairs at the Springfield Air National Guard Base before transferring to the 123rd Air Control Squadron in Blue Ash, a suburb of Cincinnati.
Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Stahl of the Springfield base said Maddock was a second lieutenant in the Ohio Air National Guard, recently reaching her goal of becoming an officer.
Stahl, who worked with Maddock for a year, said he chatted with her online in late January and had planned to send her a care package.
He said he learned of her death online when friends began posting messages on her Facebook page.
“It’s really surreal when I read in the paper or watch the news and hear her name. It’s hard to understand. It’s hard to make sense of it,” Stahl said.
“Part of what’s most tragic about this is she had finally got to a position where she was happy, in my opinion, because she was working to become an officer and that was very important to her,” he said.
Stahl said Maddock majored in journalism and described her as a thoughtful and generous woman.
She will be missed, he said.
Clark County Commissioner Rick Lohnes worked with Maddock at the Springfield base before he retired as commander in 2008.
“It’s a terrible tragedy. For whatever reason she was injured. She was a good young kid,” Lohnes said.
The Afghanistan Foundation is a nonprofit, non-governmental, research organization that focuses on public policy issues in Afghanistan and the region.
Smith said in the news release that Maddock sacrificed her life and that her death and the death of other contractors in Afghanistan, shouldn’t be “shrouded in silence by companies and government that deployed them to this combat zone.”
“Clearly, she and others who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan deserve more recognition, honor and fairness from the United States, the government of Afghanistan and the companies they worked for,” he said.