CARLYLE, IL, USA
SSG, HHC, 2ND BATTALION, 130 INFANTRY, 33RD BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, MARION, IL
KANDAHAR CITY, AFGHANISTAN 06/19/2009
Illinois Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Joshua Melton, killed by a roadside bomb Friday in Afghanistan, planned to be home in September, according to his only brother. The 26-year-old Germantown resident’s tour would have ended then, and he would finally have had time to spend with his wife, Larissa, and 16-month-old daughter, Aubrey.
Dustin Melton, 27, of Aviston, said his brother knew from the time he was a boy that he wanted to be a soldier. He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard before graduating from Central Community High School in Breese.
“He did live for the Army,” Dustin Melton said. “Until his little girl was born, then he lived for her.”
This was Joshua Melton’s second deployment; his first was to Iraq, from December 2004 to March 2006. Serving with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry based in Marion, he had been in Afghanistan since October. His unit worked to protect training teams.
Dustin Melton said his brother was last home for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day and spent the two-week break with his family. He said his brother usually wouldn’t talk much about his work overseas, but when he was in Iraq, he told his family things were changing in that country for the better.
“He said we needed to be there,” Dustin Melton said, adding that although that was three years ago, he’s sure his brother would say the same thing now.
“He was proud of serving with the men he was serving with over there, and he wouldn’t change any of that for the world. … He was a good person. We all loved him. We’re all very proud of him,” Dustin Melton said.
In a statement through her brother-in-law, Larissa Melton said of her husband: “Josh’s dream was to be a hero. And that is what he is, a hero.”