Sunday, June 03, 2007

Army Pfc. Joshua D. Brown

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Joshua D. Brown, 26, of Tampa, Fla.

Pfc. Brown was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany; died June 3, 2007 of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad. Also killed was Sgt. Shawn E. Dressler.

Florida soldiers killed by improvised bomb in Iraq
The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Two soldiers with ties to Florida have been killed in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Pfc. Joshua D. Brown, 26, died June 3 after his vehicle struck an explosive the day before, the military said.

Brown grew up in Michigan and moved to Tampa a few years before joining the Army in 2005, his father, Wayne Brown, told the St. Petersburg Times for a story published June 6.

Wayne Brown, 53, said his son worked on hardwood floors before enlisting in the Army. About a year ago, after being stationed in Germany, Joshua Brown was deployed to Iraq. He felt he was improving life for people who had lived too long under a dictator, his father said.

“He wanted to help, and that’s why he went over there,” Wayne Brown told the Times.

Joshua Brown, who was recently married, served with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in Schweinfurt, Germany.

The department also announced the death of Sgt. Robert A. Surber, 24, of Inverness. Surber was one of four soldiers who died in Iraq on June 3 of wounds suffered when an explosive detonated near their vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team, in Fort Lewis, Wash.

Attempts to reach Surber’s family by The Associated Press were not successful.

Also killed from Surber’s unit were Staff Sgt. Greg P. Gagarin, 38, of Los Angeles; Sgt. James C. Akin, 23, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Sgt. Tyler J. Kritz, 21, of Eagle River, Wis.

Two soldiers with Michigan ties killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

JACKSON, Mich. — A 26-year-old Michigan Army National Guard sergeant who regularly assured his family in e-mail messages that he believed in what he was doing in Iraq has been killed, the family says.

Matthew Soper of Jackson died this week, the military told his family June 6. The circumstances of his death were not immediately available, and the Pentagon had not announced the death early June 7.

“He told me, ‘If I die there, don’t think I didn’t die doing what I love,’ ” his sister, Amy Ciokajlo, 36, told the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Soper returned from his first Iraq tour in February 2005 and took classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College until he was called up again in June 2006, his sister said. Soper was to have returned in August.

“He was just counting down the days until he could come home,” said aunt Sandy Cannons of Jackson.

Soper quit Jackson Lumen Christi High School but later earned a high school equivalency degree.

“The military really did turn him around,” Ciokajlo said.

A soldier who grew up in Dearborn Heights also was killed in Iraq when an improvised bomb detonated near his vehicle June 3.

Pfc. Joshua D. Brown, 26, of Tampa, Fla., talked on the phone with his father about a week before his death, the Detroit Free Press said.

“He told me, ‘Don’t worry because God is very faithful.’ That was great to hear him tell me that,” said Wayne Brown of Dearborn Heights. “I was concerned about how he was doing and his spiritual life, and that was reassuring to me.”

Born in Southfield, Brown graduated from Fairlane Christian School in 1998. He played baseball, basketball and soccer, and participated in target shooting and martial arts.

“He was outgoing, very personable,” his father said. “He was a friendly guy, but he was tough too".

Army Pfc. Joshua D. Brown was killed in action on 6/3/07.

No comments: