SPOTSYLVANIA, VA, USA U.S. Marines SGT, CO A, 1ST BN, 6TH MAR, (1-1 AD I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC AR RAMADI, IRAQ 02/06/2007
Joshua J. Frazier was scheduled to return from Iraq in April, but decided to re-up for a third tour.The newly promoted sergeant didn’t want to leave the young Marines he was now leading on their own. By staying, he told friends and family, he believed he could keep his men safe.
The Spotsylvania County Marine was killed by a sniper in Iraq late Monday, his family said yesterday. He was 24.
Frazier had been serving in the Ar Ramadi area of Iraq as part of the Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.His mother, Shelia Cutshall, last spoke with him Sunday night, when he called home with news of his promotion.
“He was upbeat,” she said. “I told him I missed him, and he said he missed me, too.”
Frazier, who left for his second deployment to Iraq last September, also told her about his plan to extend his stay, and the reasons for that. To those who knew him best, it was typical Josh.It was the same guy who would stay with a friend all night after a buddy lost a relative.It was the same young man who would visit a casual acquaintance in the hospital for hours. It was the same person who would spend what little free time he had on leave taking family and friends’ kids to Lake Anna and birthday parties.
And, above all, they said, it was the same son and brother who would drop anything for his family.
Yesterday afternoon, his mom’s house was filled with tangible reminders of the Spotsylvania High graduate.
At one end of the living room, a family friend held onto “Teddy,” the stuffed bear Cutshall received as a gift when she was six months pregnant with her second son.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Frazier still slept with the bear when he was home.
On one couch was a blanket with a dragon on it that he had sent his mom for her 50th birthday. A dragon is a sign of strength in Korea, where he once deployed, he told her.
On another sofa rested a small quilt with the Marine insignia and the large words, “Welcome Home Josh.” It was prepared for his last return home from Iraq.
The blanket was signed by many of the same friends and family who were gathered at the home yesterday. Frazier collected guns and loved all things Spider-Man. He had a huge handshake, but a warm, sheepish smile.He was a partier, they recalled with a laugh, but that never kept him from church come Sunday morning.
Michelle Luehrs had known him since grade school.
“He was so full of life and energy and so passionate about so many things. And he cared so much about people,” she said. Frazier was the godfather to her 7-year-old son, Xavier.
She remembered what he said when she tried to talk him out of extending his term with the Marines.
“He said, ‘Michelle, there’s a lot of really bad people over here and I can’t go home while they’re still here.’ He didn’t want Xavier to have to go over when he was 18. He felt like it was on his shoulders.”