FISKDALE, MA, USA U.S. Marines 1STLT, E CO, 2D BN, 3D MAR, (RCT-7, I MEF FWD), 3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI HADITHAH, IRAQ 10/17/2006
Second Lieutentant Joshua Loren Booth was born May 20, 1983 in Virginia Beach,VA., son of John Edwin “Jack” Booth and Debra Lynne Guell Booth of Sturbridge, MA. He was a devoted husband and father, a loving son, brother and uncle, and a proud Officer who loved his country and was devoted to his Marines. He leaves his wife, Erica Rust Booth, a daughter, Grace Mackenna Booth, both of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and an unborn son, Tristan Joshua Booth.
Joshua moved to Massachusetts as a child and graduated from St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, where he had grown to 6-foot-2 and developed a reputation as a fierce wrestler. He then attended The Citadel military college in South Carolina, where he graduated at the top of his class with a degree in criminal justice and became a nationally ranked pistol shooter,
He had wanted to be a Marine from an early age, at least since meeting a family friend who had served in the Marines. When he was 7 years old, Joshua hopped on the bus and went to Burgess Elementary School dressed as Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. He even wore his hair “high and tight” in high school. Josh was in the Sea Cadets in Worcester when he was going to St. John’s (High School in Shrewsbury) and he just fell in love with the Marines. And from that point forward, he was not going to be denied.”
He and his wife had met two years before at The Citadel, when she came to visit the school from Dighton. They married the month he graduated. He then spent several months in the infantry officers’ course in Quantico, Va., before he and his family moved to the Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where the couple went snorkeling and kayaking and napped with their daughter in a hammock.
A few weeks before he died, he told his wife not to worry. The insurgents aren’t good shots,” he said in a phone call. A Superior Officer was quoted as saying “The enemy is terrified of Josh. The people of Iraq love him. He was a natural. Everything he touched turned to gold. Nobody follows ferociously as Josh or worked as lovingly with the people.” His mission was to build trust between the Marines and the Iraqi people.
“Josh loves his country and he believes that we are only here because of people that did what he did,” Mr. Booth said. “He was committed. He wasn’t changing anything.”
“To the world, he was a soldier. To his family, he was the world,” state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, said after meeting with the Booths.
When his service was up, he wanted to work as either a police officer or a border control agent, his wife said. The two talked about settling in Charleston.