Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire, 28, of Chillicothe, Ohio

SSgt Gire was assigned to 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Bamberg, Germany; died March 22, 2011 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.

A 2000 graduate of Huntington High School in southern Ross County was reportedly killed while serving as an Army staff sergeant in Afghanistan, family members told The Times-Gazette Thursday.

Joshua S. Gire, 28, had been stationed in Germany, but was serving a second tour in Afghanistan at the time of his death, according to his cousin Kellie Uhrig, of Columbus, who is speaking on behalf of the family.

The Associated Press reported that the Department of Defense said Gire and 26-year-old Pfc. Michael C. Mahr of Homosassa, Fla. died Tuesday after an attack involving explosives and small arms fire.

However, Uhrig said that at this time no details are available as to the time or exact nature of Gire’s death. She said family members were notified Tuesday evening.

Gire’s mother, Peggy Hunt and her husband Dale reside in Greenfield and Uhrig said the family has friends across the area. Gire, also the son of Paul Gire Jr., had three brothers, Mike Donahue, Paul Gire III, and John Hunt, one sister Beth Hunt and a step-sister Sandy (Hunt) Bourne.

Enlisting in the Army in 2001, prior to 9-11, Gire followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. While in Germany, he met his wife, Jackie, and together the couple had two children, Nicholas, 5, and Riley, 3.

“Josh thought the world of Jackie…,” Uhrig said. “He was a wonderful guy who was very proud of his children and very much loved his wife. He was a good son and a good brother… they are a very tight-knit family.”

Uhrig said Gire’s immediate family was traveling to Dover, Del. Thursday, but that it is unknown when Gire’s body will return to the U.S.

“We are hopeful that he will be stateside soon,” she said.

“Josh was from a small community and he was a big part of that small community,” Uhrig said. “He played baseball at Huntington… he was quiet growing up and was just a very respected, wonderful person.

“The family loved Josh a great deal. It’s a huge, huge, huge loss for our family, our country and the communities affected. We are very proud of him.”

They were six days from completing their tours of duty.

Joshua is survived by numerous loving relatives including his wife, Jackie and children Nicholas, age 5 and Riley, age 3; his mother, Peggy Hunt and her husband Dale; father Paul Gire Jr.; brothers, Mike Donahue, Paul Gire III, and John Hunt; one sister Beth Hunt and a step-sister Sandy (Hunt) Bourne.

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire was killed in action on 3/22/11.

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