VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, USA U.S. Marines CPL, H&S CO, 2D BN, 3D MAR, (RCT-7, I MEF FWD), 3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI HADITHAH DAM, IRAQ 12/03/2006
Dan Magistri, a high school friend of Joshua C. Sticklen’s, remembers listening to his pal’s endless stories about his deployments and military life. They spoke before every deployment and every time he came home. “Josh always kept me in the know and I always kept him in my prayers. I lived through his travels. His love for life, his family, and his friends is what kept us all together,” said Magistri.
He remembered his friend often wore a black leather jacket, blue jeans, a tight black T-shirt, a Florida State baseball cap (worn backwards), and a link-chain necklace. Josh was seldom without his Marine Corps gear, recalled Magistri. Despite the dangers of war life’s challenges, he said, “When you looked into Stick’s face, you would never know he had a care in the world. He had a huge heart, unforgettable smirk on his face, and a GREAT sense of humor.”
Sticklen, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., was one of four servicemen killed on December 3, 2006 when their CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed on Lake Qadisiyah in Anbar province, west of Baghdad. There were 16 service members aboard. He was assigned to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
A statement released by his family indicated, “We will remember Joshua as being a very loving, charismatic and caring young man. He was a devoted husband, a loving son, brother, and uncle, who was proud to be a Marine and serving his country. We are all proud of his commitment to the Corps, his devoted service to his country and we are all extremely proud of his many accomplishments.”
His wife, Jennifer, wrote, “Josh was an amazing guy. His smile and laughter lit up a room. He loved his job and loved what he did. Being a Marine was his dream. He loved his friends, his family, and me. Every one that knew him, loved him.”
Sticklen, a 2000 high school graduate, enlisted in the Marines in October 2002 and became an intelligence specialist. He also served in Afghanistan.
He was charismatic, said Senior Chief Daniel Loop, Sticklen’s Naval Junior ROTC instructor for four years. He would stand up and lead and people would automatically follow him. “That’s a rare quality in a young person, and I saw it in him as a freshman.”
Corporal Sticklen is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and his parents, Larry and Maggie Sticklen.