Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Marine Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges, 23, of Ludlow, Mass.

Sgt. Desforges was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 12, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan.

Desforges was a 2004 graduate of Ludlow Senior High School.

Prior to enlisting in the Marines, Desforges was a member of the Westover Young Marines program, based in East Longmeadow.

He is the third soldier with local ties killed in Afghanistan and the 22 overall killed in combat in either Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003.

He was also friends with Marine Lance Cpl. Philip A. Johnson, 19, of Enfield, Conn., who was killed Sept. 3, 2006 in a roadside attack west of Baghdad, Iraq. Both served together in the Westover Young Marines program.

At Johnson’s funeral on Aug. 14, 2006, Desforges told a Republican reporter that his friend was enthusiastic about the Marines and excited to be going to combat. “I told him ‘be safe’,” he said.

No funeral arrangements have been set and it is not clear when his body will return to the area, Couture said.

Jacob Oliveira, a member of the Ludlow School Committee, was a classmate of Joshua Desforges at Ludlow High School. They both graduated in 2004.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard,” Oliveira said. “I grew up with Josh, went to Middle School and high school with him and I went to his deployment party on West Street. “It’s surreal that he’s gone,” he said.

Oliveira said his father, Richard Oliveira, was Desforges’ math teacher at Ludlow High School , and he said his father said Desforges always brightened the room when he walked into class. “He was a fun-loving kid,” Jacob Oliveira said of Desforges. He said he became very serious about joining the Marines and serving his country. “He has become a hero to me and my classmates,” Oliveira said.

“This is a small community,” Oliveira added. He said Desforges’ mother is a para-professional at Veterans Park Elementary School in town.

Oliveira said the last time he saw Desforges was a few years ago at a Memorial Day parade. “This year we will be honoring him,” he said.

A favorite quote from his FB page: " Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." James Dean

Marine Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges was killed in action on 5/12/10.

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