Joshua M. Pearce – Specialist, United States Army

March 1, 2006

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Specialist Joshua M. Pearce, 21, of Guymon, Oklahoma, died in Mosul, Iraq, on February 26, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near Stryker military vehicle during patrol operations.  Pearce was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Officials identify soldier killed in Iraq

A Fort Wainwright Army Post soldier killed Sunday in Iraq has been identified by Army officials. Specialist Joshua M. Pearce, 21 from Guymon, Oklahoma, died when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker vehicle at 9:35 a.m. Iraq time on Sunday. Three other soldiers were wounded in the incident but were reported as not seriously injured.

The four soldiers were on patrol in Mosul with their unit, part of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Pearce was a fire support specialist. He joined the Army in August 2003 and was assigned to Fort Wainwright in December 2003.

In an interview with the Guymon Daily Herald, Pearce's mother, Becky Hilliard, said Pearce had wanted to serve in the military since he was young. Hilliard told the paper he joined the military directly after graduation from Guymon High School, where he was voted “life of the party” and “best looking.”

Pearce's body will be returned to Guymon, accompanied by his brother, Jeremy Pearce, 24, also stationed in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

In a letter to the editor Pearce wrote on September 11, 2005, to his hometown newspaper, he said “I do not want to die, but if that's what I was put on this earth to do, then everyone should know that I went for a cause that in my heart was worth dying for.”

Services have yet to be scheduled but Hilliard told the Daily Herald that the family will have a memorial service at the First Baptist Church in Guymon. Both the Pearce brothers requested that if they died in action that they be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., according to their mother.

Hilliard told the Daily Herald she talked with Pearce nearly every day while he was in Iraq through e-mail, instant messaging or phone calls.

He was described by family and friends as gregarious and filled with happiness and laughter, traits illustrated in the last line of his letter to the editor where he signed off with his favorite quote from John F. Kennedy; “There are three things which are real: God, human folly and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third.”

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