Monday, July 30, 2007

Ron Joshua laid to rest

Family and friends Thursday remembered a soldier from Central Texas recently killed in Iraq.

The funeral for Private 1st Class Ron Joshua, Jr., 19, was held in Pflugerville. With young and old standing at the ready with American flags draped by the sides, family and friends came to pay their respects to Joshua.

He was killed last week by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.

"It is kind of hard, but today is the day we can actually start the healing, but we just have to get through today first," said Joshua's uncle, Bruce Drew.

One of Joshua's best friends in life, Naivi Garcia, sang at his funeral.

"I didn't get to say goodbye to him the day that he left. I always assumed he would be back, so this is my way of saying goodbye to him, the way he always wanted me to," Garcia said.

Family members say Joshua's favorite Bible verse was Joshua 1:9, where the Lord commands believers to be strong and courageous, never terrified nor discouraged because the Lord their God will be with them always. Joshua actually had that tattooed on his left arm.

"I guess it was just his destiny. I mean, I guess, in a way he knew, and so did God and that's why it was on his arm, his left arm, closest to his heart," Garcia said.

After the ceremony in Pflugerville, the Patriot Guard Riders -- motorcyclists who honor fallen soldiers -- for the first time rode off in a missing man formation. They lead the way to a private ceremony in Killeen where Joshua underwent basic training at Fort Hood.

"I don't think he would regret his life. I think that what he did, he wanted to do. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew the person he was going to become, and I'm very proud of him for it," Garcia said."

Joshua is the 28th Central Texas serviceman to die since the war started in Iraq.


Related Link:
Ron Joshua remembered

Related Link:
Ron J. Joshua Jr. dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'