FREEBURG, PA, USA U.S. Army PFC, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 325TH INFANTRY, 2 BCT, FORT BRAGG, NC YUSIFIYAH, IRAQ 09/02/2006
Justin was a fun-loving, twenty-two year old guy who enjoyed being outside four-wheeling or taking part in Boy Scouting activities and sports. Justin also enjoyed hunting, fishing and swimming and loved the ocean. His strong faith in God kept him associated and active with the youth group of Brookside Ministries. He also enjoyed singing with Selinsgrove Area High School’s Honors Choir and was a 2004 graduate of Selinsgrove Area High School. Justin’s sparkling smile and personality were highlighted as he demonstrated his enjoyment during his performances with Heartbeat Productions. Justin had considered becoming a teacher when he returned.
Justin was born in Lewisburg, Union County, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Gregory and Kathryn Shaffer of Northumberland and Wesley and Carolyn Dreese of Freeburg. Justin lived with his grandparents Luther and Carol Dreese of Hummels Wharf, Pennsylvania. Justin enjoyed helping his grandparents with their produce stand and affectionately called them Mimi and Pappy.
Justin enlisted in the Army in 2004 and attended basic training at Fort Benning, GA. He began Airborne Training with the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. Justin had already deployed to Afghanistan and El Salvador. In 2006 he deployed to Yusifiuah, Iraq. He believed in what he was doing for his country and served as an Airborne Paratrooper with honor and pride until September 2, 2006 when he succumbed to injuries suffered during a mortar attack.
At the request of the Selinsgrove Post Number 6631 of the VFW, the memory and sacrifice of Private First Class Justin W. Dreese will live on as legislation which names State Route 35 from Selinsgrove to the Snyder County, Pennsylvania line near Richfield in his honor. “Private Dreese gave his life so that democracy could flourish throughout the world,” said Fairchild. House Bill 1783 officially designates this section of roadway as the Justin W. Dreese Memorial Highway.
Naming Route 35 in Dreese’s memory is one way that we can show our appreciation for his sacrifice and to demonstrate to his family that their son will never be far from our hearts and minds. His parents, Wesley Dreese and Kathryn Shaffer, raised a remarkable son, and we as a nation and a community share their loss.