EVERETT, WA, U.S.A.
U.S. MARINE CORP, U.S. ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
01/11/2009, LAKE STEVENS, WA
John Michael LaBossiere was born on April 13, 1983 to Phil and Marcia LaBossiere in Everett, Washington. John was joined by new brother Timothy in 1985, and they remained close as brothers should. He had an early desire to be a fireman and would dress like one, playing on the back of his dad’s truck in full uniform pretending to go to a fire. One day as a three year old, he was mad because the real fire truck zoomed past him on the nearby busy street without stopping to pick him up. By age five John changed his focus to becoming an Army Man, and wanted the “real Army gear” for his birthday. Instead, mom and dad connected him with Legos and were amazed to see his technical creativity and patience. John also made his own fishing flies and was always up for a fishing trip. His main interest in sports was soccer, which he played well for twelve years, along with being a soccer referee as a teenager.
As a 2001 high school graduate, John was greatly impacted by the events of September 11, as were so many others. On a fishing trip with his dad the next day, when asked what was going to happen next, he stated that he would “join up” if he had to. A few months later John enlisted in the U.S Marine Corps, with an anticipated MOS of Combat Engineer. He made it through boot camp and told his family, “I thought soccer was harder than boot camp”. To John’s dismay, his MOS was actually Hygiene Equipment Operator, aka water boy. John deployed from Camp LeJeune, NC at the front of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He was happy to share his feeling of divine intervention in the protection of his convoy during a great sandstorm. His story gave goose bumps to all who heard him tell it. Soon after his safe return, he was married and had a daughter Aubryn, born October, 2004. John deployed again and in 2005 returned safely, so it seemed.
Like so many others before him, John carried emotional scars of war and tried to hide them. After moving back to Everett, WA with his wife and daughter, John struggled with stress, anger, alcoholism and making a living wage. Nevertheless, his family grew with a new son, Ash, in 2007. John joined the WA Army National Guard and trained to be a Humvee mounted 50 caliber machine gunner, deploying again to Iraq in 2008. While in mid-deployment, his wife gave birth to their third child, Alexander. John briefly returned to visit before having to re-deploy to finish his one year tour.
John’s family situation had been deteriorating and he returned more burdened than before. John’s third tour was too much and the war at home may have been worse. While attempting to finally obtain stress counselling, the waiting period was too long. Sudden changes in his marriage caused him to react violently. John’s short life ended at the hands of a police officer during the course of a domestic violence call on November 1, 2009. At the age of 26, John went home to the place where this is no pain or fear, joining a cast of many who watched him grow and prayed for him daily. John had given his heart to Jesus when he was 8, and though he struggled as all people do, his faith was shared with his friends and comrades. Those who knew John knew he was a complex, funny, intelligent, believer in Christ. He is missed by his parents, his brother, his children, his friends, his fellow Marines and “Army Men”.
Semper Fidelis John. There had better be some good fishing in Heaven!