Friday, June 19, 2009

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Melton

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Melton, 26, of Carlyle, Ill.

SSgt Melton was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, Illinois National Guard, Marion, Ill.; died June 19, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Sgt. Paul G. Smith.

Ill. soldier killed months before tour was to end
The Associated Press

GERMANTOWN, Ill. — The brother of a southern Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan says his sibling was expected to return home in September to his wife and 16-month-old daughter.

Twenty-six-year-old Staff Sgt. Joshua Melton was from Germantown in Clinton County. He died along with 43-year-old Sgt. Paul Smith of East Peoria on Friday.

The Illinois National Guard says their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Kandahar.

Melton enlisted in the National Guard in 2000 while still in high school in Breese.

Dustin Melton says his late brother knew from the time he was a boy that he wanted to be a soldier.

Joshua Melton's widow, Larissa Melton, says her husband died as something he always wanted to be — a hero.

News-Democrat -- The funeral for a Germantown soldier killed in Afghanistan has been scheduled for Saturday in Germantown.

Illinois Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Joshua Melton, 26, was killed by a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, June 19.

He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 2000 before graduating from Central Community High School in Breese.

This was Joshua Melton's second deployment; his first was to Iraq, from December 2004 to March 2006. Melton was deployed in October and was serving as part of the 33rd Infantry Bridge Combat Team in Afghanistan which was deployed last year to help train the Afghan Army and National Police. His unit worked to protect training teams, fight the Taliban and roll back the heroin trade.

He had planned to be home in September to spend time with his wife, Larissa, and 16-month-old daughter, Aubrey.

In a statement, Larissa Melton said it was her husband's dream to be a hero "and that is what he is, a hero."

Visitation for Melton will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Moss Funeral Home, 630 Railroad St. in Germantown.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Boniface Catholic Church, 306 Munster in Germantown. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery , 1303 Lake Road in Carlyle, with full military honors.

Condolences for Melton's family can be sent to: Family of Staff Sgt. Joshua Melton, c/o Joshua Lueker, 3686 Logan Road, W. Frankfort, Ill., 62896.

Memorials can be made to his daughter through the Aubrey Melton Trust Fund and can be given through the funeral home or Germantown Trust and Savings Bank.

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Melton was killed in action on 6/19/09.

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