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Joshua J Kirk


U.S. Army



A little bit about Josh. Well, it seems hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that my mom and I traveled to Dover to meet Josh’s body as it was returned. It was my mother’s birthday and we were in shock. Everything happened so fast, but at the same time it felt like slow motion. Josh was born at home on July 19th, 1979. I remember being so excited to have a brother. He was the first boy and had three older sisters and a younger brother and sister. Josh was a high energy kid, always in motion. My mom home-schooled us and Josh was an excellent student, smart and very well-read. He loved reading history books and particularly war stories. He was very athletic as well, a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an accomplished mountain climber.

Josh worked with our dad, learning the carpentry trade. He was a very talented builder with an eye for detail. I remember he spent an entire summer remodeling our aunt’s kitchen. He never accepted any payment, so my aunt would make him wonderful lunches and dinners. He had a very generous spirit that way. He went to college with the idea that he would eventually take over the construction company he had been working for. He got restless though, and decided to join the army instead.

The Army really was a good fit for Josh and he excelled there from day one. When my mom and I flew to Kentucky for his graduation we were not surprised that he had already won several awards and commendations, and it was clear he was well-liked. Josh served a 12 month tour at COP Keating in Afghanistan and when he came home, he was determined to go back. With that in mind, he re-enlisted and after being home less then six months he left for COP Keating again in May of 2009. Josh’s personality was so positive and he excelled so much at everything he did, and because of that I sometimes forgot the dangerous place he was in. His emails and phone calls were always very humorous and we would forward his emails to everyone in the family since he did not always have time to write to everyone.

Josh died in one of the worst firefights experienced so far in Afghanistan. We had the privilege of meeting Joshua’s troop when they deployed stateside earlier this year, and heard first hand of his heroic actions. Two soldiers in particular credited Josh for their survival. He is our true American hero, always loved, always remembered.


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