Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ron Joshua remembered

An Austin area family is dealing with the loss of one of the latest casualties in Iraq.

Private First Class Ron Joshua, Jr. was killed in Baghdad Tuesday.

The 19-year-old was just a year removed from his graduation at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville. His loved ones say they're still having a difficult time coping with the loss.

"It was really hard," said Dawn Drew, Joshua's aunt.

Joshua had only been on the ground in Baghdad for about a month when an improvised explosive device went off near his vehicle. Drew -- a disabled Army veteran -- was the one who had to break the news to Joshua's father, who is currently a master sergeant in the Army.

"'Ron is gone, your son is gone.' He said, 'Where did you get this information from?' and I said the military is at momma's house right now," Drew said.

Joshua was particularly close to his cousin, Denita Anderson.

She, Drew and other family members were there for Joshua's send off at Fort Hood. Anderson and Drew say they remembered leaving the ceremony with an unsettling feeling.

"Ron took a deep breath and said, 'Okay, I guess this is it,' and I just grabbed him and... I felt in my heart I wasn't saying see you later, I felt like I was saying goodbye to him," Drew said.

Both his aunt and cousin say Joshua was a quiet, kind hearted man who was proud to serve his country.

"I want people to know that when Ron put that uniform on, I believe that was the first time in his life that he felt he belonged anywhere and I think that when he got ready to leave he was proud to be going, proud to represent us and his father and he wanted to serve this country," she said.


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