Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Army Pfc. Joshua R. Anderson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Joshua R. Anderson, 24, of Jordan, Minn.

Pfc. Anderson was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died Jan 2, 2008 in Kamasiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Republican Eagle -- A 24-year-old soldier who went into the Army because he wanted to help others was killed earlier this week when an explosive detonated near his vehicle in Iraq.

Pfc. Joshua R. Anderson died Wednesday in Kamasia, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Anderson was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Ga., and had been living near there with his wife, Hannah, and the couple's 3-year-old daughter. He grew up in Jordan, Minn., said his mother, Lynn.

"He was always loving and caring and he had a quick smile and helping hand," Lynn Anderson said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."

Anderson, who was a combat medic in the Army, is the 68th person with strong Minnesota ties to have died in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Anderson went to Iraq just two months ago, his mother said.

"He loved life, he had a lot of friends, he loved his family and he was always joking around," she said.

She said the family sent Anderson cookies, and he tried to give them to the children in Kamasia.

"They wouldn't eat it, they were afraid," Lynn Anderson said. "I told him to break them in two, and eat half. He said that would've required thought on his part."

The family then started sending hard candy, Laffy Taffy, and Band-Aids with funny designs, and the kids responded.

Hannah Anderson, 20, said her husband was often on night patrol at the base outside of Baghdad.

She spoke with him online two days ago, signing off with each of them typing: "I love you. Always and forever. Forever and always."

"Everything we talked about were what our plans were when he came back. He said he didn't want to re-enlist. He couldn't deal with being deployed away from me for so long, but this deployment would bring us together and make us stronger. He talked about having more kids. He said he loved me, and I said I loved him, and those were our last words," Hannah Anderson said.

Anderson's father, Keven, said the loss has been difficult.

"I'm OK right now," he said. "I mean, I'm just a tear away from bawling. As long as people are here it's fine," he said, adding that Thursday night was tough.

Joshua Anderson graduated from Jordan High School in 2002 and joined the Army in 2006, surprising family members.

"He never really said anything," said Keven Anderson. "He wanted to serve his country, that's what he said."

"He wanted to make a better life. He wanted to be able to give his family more," his mother added.

He was the youngest of Lynn and Keven Anderson's three children.

Norma Timmons, Anderson's ninth grade English teacher, remembered him as a nice young man who was always helpful and worked hard.

"The thing that keeps coming to mind is his cute little grin," she said.

Lynn Anderson said her son's cheerful demeanor was contagious.

"It's hard to believe he's gone," his mother said. "He was doing something he was proud of, and we were proud of him, too. It's like my heart has been ripped out of my chest."

Army Pfc. Joshua R. Anderson was killed in action on 01/02/08.

No comments: