The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, 1LT Joshua Deese, who died in the service of his country on October 15th, 2006 in Kirkuk, Iraq. The cause of death was listed as Improvised Explosive Device. At the time of his death Joshua was 25 years of age. He was from Rowland, North Carolina.
The decorations earned by 1LT Joshua Deese include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart,
Joshua is buried in Royland, NC
(From Active Cacti Will O.Brien)
Last night we had the visitation for LT Deese. It started at 3pm and Ended up going to 11pm. There were well over 1,000 people that attended, to include among many others a Congressman, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Chancellor from the University he attended. The church could only hold 350 people, so the majority of these people stood outside in the cold rain for hours, lined up across the parking lot and down a country road for about a 1/4 of a mile. The Congressman stood in line like everybody else (that stood out to me). Some Cacti family and soldiers drove through the night to attend as well and I know that their presence was greatly appreciated by the family. It was very evident by the people in attendance that LT Josh Deese touched a lot of lives for the better and his presence will be sorely missed. I did find out last night that a fund has been established for his 2 Year old son, Jacob, at a local bank.
Army First Lt. Joshua Deese of Robeson County was on his second deployment when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Sunday. Deese died in Balad from injuries caused by the
explosion, the Defense Department said Tuesday. Sgt. Jonathan E. Lootens, a 25-year-old from Lyons, N.Y., also died from the blast. Two other soldiers were injured.Deese, who was 25, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, which is based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
Deese entered the Army in October 2003 and reported to Schofield Barracks in August 2004, according to a spokeswoman at the Army post. Deese graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2004 with a degree in American Studies, said his sister, Myra Deese. She said Josh was the youngest of four children and their mother's hands-down favorite. "Josh talked to Mom every single day," Myra Deese said. "Definitely, a mama's boy."
Myra Deese said her brother graduated from South Robeson High School in 1999. Their uncle, a career soldier, was his hero and because of him, Josh joined the Army's Reserve Officer Training Program in high school and college. "Josh always said he wanted to be a soldier," Myra Deese said. "He wanted Ranger, Airborne ... and that's what he did." Myra Deese said the Army commissioned Josh after college, and he moved to Hawaii. He loved the beach, she said, and loved being on the island, but missed his family and hated being away from his son, Jacob Anderson, who is two. He returned from Afghanistan, his first
deployment, in February and had been in Iraq since August, Myra Deese said. He had been talking about marrying his high school sweetheart, Jacob's mother, when he returned.
When Josh came home to Rowland, Myra Deese said, she would cook him dinner. Manicotti and lasagna were his favorites. And then the family would rent movies and lounge around together. He went fishing with the men in his family every spring and loved to camp, she said. Still, the playful Josh in North Carolina was a serious officer when he returned to his soldiers. Myra said she begged Josh to avoid the infantry and find a safer job in the Army. "I kind of fussed at him," she said. "He was an officer, and it was like, you don't need to do that, you're in the most dangerous spot." But her brother said he wanted to serve in a war zone, that was what he was trained for. "He thought he would make a whole lot better officer if he was actually out there with the other troops," Myra said. "That way he would know what it was they were
going through and it would make him a better leader."
Memorial plans are being handled by Richard Boles Funeral Service in Laurinburg. Joshua Deese is survived by his son, Jacob, his parents, Rogena and Ronnie Deese, his sisters, Myra Deese and Ronnean Collins, and his brother Ronnie Dwayne Allen.
Robeson soldier killed in Iraq
By Laura Arenschield
Army First Lt. Joshua Deese of Robeson County was on his second deployment when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Sunday.
Deese died in Balad from injuries caused by the explosion, the Defense Department said Tuesday. Sgt. Jonathan E. Lootens, a 25-year-old from Lyons, N.Y., also died from the blast. Two other soldiers were injured.
Deese, who was 25, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, which is based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
Deese entered the Army in October 2003 and reported to Schofield Barracks in August 2004, according to a spokeswoman at the Army post.
Deese graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2004 with a degree in American Studies, said his sister, Myra Deese.
She said Josh was the youngest of four children and their mother's hands-down favorite. Josh talked to Mom every single day Myra Deese said. Definitely, a Mama's boy.
Myra Deese said her brother graduated from South Robeson High School in 1999. Their uncle, a career soldier, was his hero and because of him, Josh joined the Army Reserve Officer Training Program in high school and college.
Memorial plans are being handled by Richard Boles Funeral Service in Laurinburg.
Joshua Deese is survived by his son, Jacob, his parents, Rogena and Ronnie Deese, his sisters, Myra Deese and Ronnean Collins, and his brother Ronnie Dwayne Allen.
Staff writer Laura Arenschield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3572.
(From The Associated Press)
Sgt. Jonathan Lootens had been a troubled youth. Though he had frequently walked on the wrong side of the law, he found purpose and direction in the Army, wanted to go to college and loved reading.
First Lt. Joshua Deese, 25, was a "true Southern gentleman," wanted to make the Army a career and had a young son with his high school sweetheart in North Carolina.
The two soldiers had already survived a deployment to Afghanistan. But neither could survive a roadside bomb explosion that ripped through their vehicle Sunday in Iraq.
"Just a difficult time; just taking it one minute at a time," Rogena Deese, Joshua's mother, said yesterday from Rowland, N.C.
The two Schofield Barracks soldiers were killed in Kirkuk in northern Iraq during combat operations, the Pentagon said yesterday. They were with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment.
Lootens, 25, from Lyons, N.Y., and Deese are the sixth and seventh Hawai'i-based soldiers to be killed during a yearlong deployment to Iraq by more than 7,000 Schofield soldiers that began about two months ago.
At least 58 Americans have been killed in Iraq in the first two weeks of October, a pace that if continued would make the month the worst for coalition forces since January 2005 when 107 U.S. soldiers and Marines died.
The spike in casualties has paralleled an upward spiral in ethnic violence. Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, last week said "the levels of violence over the last few weeks are as high as they have been."
Casey also said that violence and progress coexist in Iraq, and that 90 percent of the violence takes place in five provinces that account for a little less than half the country's population.
Family of both slain soldiers yesterday said the men believed in what they were doing in Iraq, a war that continues to become increasingly unpopular back home.
"Iraq was more difficult than Afghanistan for Jon personally," said Lootens' sister, Andrea Ralyea, 26. "But there were just different challenges that they were facing there. He felt that what they are doing is right -- that we have to help people around the world find freedom and find their way, and Jon was helping to do that."
Rogena Deese said that her son also was proud of what he was doing.
"He believed that there had to be sacrifices made for America's freedom," she said, adding that he was discouraged at how the media had represented the soldiers in the war.
"All of the soldiers want to be represented as trying to do something honorable -- trying to protect the freedom of America," Rogena Deese said.
Deese was commissioned in August 2003 after graduating from Pembroke State University. He came to Schofield Barracks in August 2004. His uncle was his Junior ROTC instructor in high school.
"He just really got into it. He followed in his (uncle's) footsteps," Rogena Deese said. Her son wanted to make the Army a career. She described him as outgoing, "a true southern gentleman, real well-mannered. Just an ideal son."
He was his company's executive officer.
"He wanted to be there for his men, take care of them, make sure things were done right for them," his mother said. Joshua Deese was planning on marrying his high school sweetheart after the
deployment and captain's school. The couple has a 2-year-old son.
"Josh, myself and most of my family are real strong believers in having eternal hope in Jesus ... and I know that I'll see him one day, and that's how I'm getting through this," Rogena Deese said.
Andrea Ralyea said her brother was looking for some direction in life and joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"I think it's important for everyone to know how much the Army changed Jon's life -- that he saw the Army as a springboard to other opportunities," she said.
He loved the outdoors -- fishing was a passion -- and was fixing up a 1964 Ford. He was looking forward to going to college.
"He thought for a while that he might want to go into law enforcement or do things to help kids," his sister said. He was reading George Orwell's "1984" and had asked the family to send him some of the "classics."
Her brother was expected to come home on rest and recuperation leave next month, and the family was adjusting their schedules to be with him.
Jon didn't tell his family where he was in Iraq, his sister said. He did say it was harder than being in Afghanistan.
"Because of what Jon was and wasn't allowed to tell us, he never really got into (why)," she said.
Two other soldiers were hurt in the roadside bomb blast in Kirkuk, which is where the headquarters is located for Schofield's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.