Saturday, May 19, 2007

Army Specialist Joseph A. Gilmore

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Joseph A. Gilmore, 26, of Webster, Fla.

Spc. Gilmore was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 19, 2007 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Staff Sgt. Christopher Moore, Sgt. Jean P. Medlin, Spc. David W. Behrle, Pfc. Travis F. Haslip and Pfc. Alexander R. Varela.

Orlando Sentinel -- Though their military schedules and assignments conflicted, brothers Sean and Joseph Gilmore tried to talk once a month.

"He was ready to come home and see his family. It was rough out there," said Sean Gilmore, an Alabama National Guard member, recalling the last chat with his brother, formerly of the small Sumter County community of Webster, about 60 miles west of Orlando.

A combat medic who met and married his wife in Sumter, Spc. Joseph Gilmore was among six soldiers killed Saturday in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Gilmore, 26, was the father of two children, ages 5 and 3.

"He's a hero, and I hope to someday be the man he was," his younger brother said in a phone interview from Alabama. "Everything he did was for somebody else."

One of seven boys, Joseph Gilmore was born and reared in Hartford, Ala., but relocated after high school to Bushnell, where he lived with his grandmother, Bonnie Clinton. She died in 2001.

Gilmore and five other soldiers from Fort Hood outside Killeen, Texas, died in the blast Saturday during combat operations in Baghdad.

He joined the military in August 2005, earning a marksmanship badge and other honors.

Sean Gilmore, 24, an Alabama Guard member who was furloughed from duty in Kuwait for his brother's funeral service, said his brother enlisted to make a better life for his family.

"That was his No. 1 concern," he said. "He loved his kids."

His widow, Eve Gilmore, 32, would not comment.

A MySpace page belonging to Eve Gilmore in Fort Hood, where the family resides, showed a picture of a soldier Tuesday with the caption: "R.I.P. Joseph Gilmore. Gone But Never Forgotten."

The soldiers' parents, Frank and Betty Gilmore, also could not be reached for comment.

A soldier's family needs sympathy and compassion not just now but later, too, when their friends return to their own lives, said Debbie Busch, executive director of the Gold Star Family Support Center at Fort Hood.

The center, funded by donations, provides a weekly support group, counseling and compassion for spouses, children and other family members.

Busch said the center reaches out to more than 400 families, often calling survivors as difficult dates approach -- birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

"We try to bridge the gap and reach out to them," she said. "Believe me, often it's exactly what grieving families need."

The organization's Web site is

Army Specialist Joseph A. Gilmore was killed in action on 5/19/07.

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