Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Army Spc. Joshua M. Seals

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Joshua M. Seals, 21, of Porter, Okla.

Spc Seals was assigned to 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa, Okla.; died Aug. 16, 2011 in Paktya province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat incident.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the Seals family and friends," said Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, Oklahoma's adjutant general. "As we mourn his loss in the days ahead, we will be forever honored and proud that he chose to serve his country and the people of Oklahoma in the National Guard."

"Today, our family grieves with the Seals family on the loss of their son, Josh. The loss of our brother in arms, while difficult, can never compare to the loss of a child, son or brother," said Col. Mike Chase, deputy brigade commander for the 45th Infantry Brigade. "We offer our most sincere condolences and stand ready to assist the Seals family during this difficult time."

Spc Seals graduated from Porter High School in 2008 where he played football. He was an honor roll student and a member of the academic team. He played basketball when he was younger. He was also active in Wagoner County 4-H and showed Dutch rabbits.

Spc Seals joined the Guard in 2008 as a truck driver while still in high school. At the time of his death, Seals was assigned as a machine gunner. This was his first deployment.

Aunt, Trina Seals, said her nephew joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard while he was still in high school. "His mother and father served in the Army, and he felt it was just something he wanted to do."

She stated the family was told her nephew died of a gunshot wound.

"He was the sweetest kid you'd ever want to meet," she said of her 21-year-old nephew.

Principal Larry Shackelford described Seals as a great student and a wonderful young man with a bright outlook.

Residents got a hint that something was wrong when two Army officials came into town on Tuesday, according to Joy Hendrix, town treasurer. "They came into town hall looking for an address. They didn't say which address, but we pointed them to a town map. They looked at the map and then left," she said.

"He was well-liked in town. He was a very respectful young man, a great kid," Hendrix said. She said this was a devastating tragedy for Porter, a close-knit community of about 600.

Services were held Saturday, August 27th.The Fort Sill, Oklahoma Honor Guard served as Pallbearers. His brother, Spc James Seals, of Fort Drum, served as Honorary Pallbearer.

Spc Seals was laid to rest at Greenwood Cemetery in Porter, OK.

Spc Seals is survived by his parents, Rhonda and Stanley; wife, Andrina; and siblings, Jeremy, Sarah and James.

Army Spc. Joshua M. Seals was killed in a non-combat related incident on 8/16/11.

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