SCOTTSVILLE, KY, USA U.S. Army SGT, HHT, 3D BATTALION, 8TH CAVALRY, FORT HOOD, TX MOSUL, IRAQ 02/09/2009
Army Sergeant (SGT) Joshua Ward, last stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, was one of four U.S. Coalition Soldiers killed on February 9, 2009, when a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive devise detonated near their vehicle in Mosul, Iraq. The 30-year-old was serving the beginning of his third deployment to Iraq that was scheduled to last for 16 months. A nine-year Army veteran, Josh was on his final tour with plans to leave the Army following this deployment to Iraq. Josh’s father John was working as an operations supervisor for KBR in Afghanistan when he received the news of his son’s death.
Josh was born on October 23, 1978, to John and Patti Ward, of Matagorda, Texas. He had three brothers (Ben, Eric, and Johnny) and one sister (Brandi). An athletic teen, Josh spent free time as a rodeo clown. Josh was a 1997 graduate of Needville High School, Needville, Texas, where he was a star football player who was recruited to play in the Way Down Under Bowl in Australia. He received a football scholarship to Texas A&M-Blinn College, but a car accident that shattered his elbow prevented him from going. He enlisted in the Army in 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. His sister said that his fellow soldiers were like another family to Josh.
Josh’s siblings remember him as a protective prankster while growing up. In his youth, pranks included strapping his brother, Johnny, to a chair with duct tape, and tossing bugs into the pool. Although fun-loving, he did his best to protect his siblings from harm. The sense of competition evident in his football years continued to drive Josh to work harder, be stronger, and never give up. He was competitive even when it came to his cherished truck, wanting to have a bigger truck and bigger tires than others.
At the time of his death, Josh’s two sons, Joshua Allen Ward, Jr., and Zane Tyler Ward, were 9 and 7, respectively. They lived with their mother, Misty Ward, of Scottsville, Kentucky. Other survivors include his fiancée, Diana Gunderson, of Fort Hood, Texas, and an unborn third son, Alexander, due July 6, 2009. Josh is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas.