Thursday, August 23, 2007

Joshua S. Harmon dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'

They are trained in combat, but they're there to save lives. Twenty-year-old Army Specialist, Josh Harmon of Willoughby, Ohio, was the medic on board the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed Wednesday in northern Iraq. The Schofield Barracks soldier met his wife, Kristin, last year when she was on vacation in Hawaii.

Harmon's mother, Donna, is devastated by news of his death.

"He loved it out there. He and Kristin, they had an apartment. It was all set up and they were going to be moving in October 4," she said.

The newlyweds, who were legally wed by proxy marriage while Harmon was deployed, were planning to live at the Moanalua Hillside Apartments. They were going to have their wedding ceremony when Harmon returned.

Family friend, Erix Lemr, said Josh couldn't wait to be with his wife.

"He had put a deposit down on an apartment. He had bought a car for her," said Lemr. "She was moving back out there in two weeks."

"He was so looking forward to coming home. He had everything set up," said Donna Harmon. "He had a countdown on his my space account. She was the love of his life."

Harmon's mom said she wasn't happy when he joined the Army two years ago, but supported her son's decision to serve his country.

And Harmon did that well, saving the life of fellow soldier, Freddy Ray Meyers, who was shot in the head by an enemy sniper.

"When they got him back to the hospital, the doctors singled Josh out and basically said that the reason that soldier survived was due to Josh's treatment of that soldier in the field," said Lt. Tim Serazin, a firefighter who works with Harmon's dad in Willoughby, Ohio.

Serazin said Josh's father, Richard, the Willoughby fire chief, is extremely proud of his son.

"A doting father that Rich was, he would show off the fact that his son was learning stuff that basically you don't learn unless you're in medical school," Serazin said.

And though Josh wanted to be a career soldier, he decided he could do more by going to medical school when his tour was up.

"He told us of stories where he'd be on patrol and he'd see wounded people down streets but due to the danger of the situation, weren't able to stop and that kind of frustrated him," Serazin said.

Childhood friend, Kyle Fisher, said Harmon told him that regardless of the difficulties, he enjoyed being an Army medic.

"It's a very hard place to be. A very difficult position to be in. But he wouldn't have it any other way, helping people," Fisher said.

From KGMB 9