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Army Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Throckmorton

Died July 5, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

28, of Battle Creek Mich.; assigned to the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Hohenfels, Germany; died July 5 in Paktia province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Spc. Jordan C. Schumann and Army Spc. Preston J. Suter.

Principal, former coaches remember fallen soldier

By Eric J. Greene and Trace Christenson
Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Throckmorton, 28, of Battle Creek was killed in Afghanistan on July 5, the Defense Department has announced.

The soldier’s wife, Leslie, said Throckmorton “was an amazing man. He loved his children to death. They were his world. His family meant everything to him.”

Leslie Throckmorton was speaking by phone, along with Joshua Throckmorton’s mother and father, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., awaiting the return of Throckmorton’s body.

Throckmorton, an honors student who graduated in 2001 from Battle Creek Central High School, had been stationed in Hohenfels, Germany and was deployed to Afghanistan in April. He also had served in Iraq.

“He was a soldier doing his job and he couldn’t wait to get home,” she said. “He was a great person. He was the best.”

The Army said Throckmorton and two other soldiers — Spc. Jordan C. Schumann, 24, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., and Spc. Preston J. Suter, 22, of Sandy, Utah — died
in Paktia province when their unit was attacked by enemy forces with an improvised explosive device.

Former Battle Creek Central Principal Bruce Barney said Throckmorton was “a solid citizen and well liked. He was a pleasant individual and very respectful. I appreciated him being a part of the student body of Battle Creek Central High School.”

“He played sports and was a consummate team player,” Barney said, “and he would do anything to make the situation better.”

Central football coach Doug Bess said Throckmorton was one of 12 seniors on the 2000 Bearcat football team that started with a 1-3 record but played for the conference championship.

“He was an undersized center and only played at 170 pounds, which in our division was awfully small to play, but yet he was one of the leaders of the offensive line,” Bess said.

An assistant to coach Al Slamer that year, Bess said his own son was on the team.

“They weren’t best buddies but they were teammates and we were talking about Josh and he said, ‘Dad, he was just a really good guy.’ ”

“He worked his butt off in football. He was undersized but he would work his butt off against bigger kids.”

Bess said Throckmorton was one of the seniors who inspired the underclassmen and probably help mold teams which were undefeated the next two years.

“He was one of our leaders and he played hard. I don’t know of anyone who didn’t like Josh. It is just a tragedy.”

Procession marks return of Mich. soldier’s remains

The Associated Press

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of people watched a procession led by motorcyclists Sunday as the remains of a 28-year-old soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan were returned to Michigan.

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Throckmorton died July 5 when an improvised explosive devise hit his unit in Afghanistan’s Paktia province. His funeral is scheduled Wednesday in Battle Creek.

About 100 motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard Riders led the procession, the Battle Creek Enquirer said.

Two other members of Throckmorton’s unit also were killed in the blast. They were part of the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Hohenfels, Germany.

Throckmorton was an honor at Battle Creek High School, where he graduated in 2001. He was married with three children.

Jacquie Robbins pulled the American flag from the front porch of her Battle Creek home and brought it and her family to the steps of W.K. Kellogg Auditorium to watch the procession.

“I feel for him and his family,” Robbins said. “It’s hard when they’re so young.”

Another onlooker said the procession was a stark reminder of the risks ahead. Trevor Hegner, a 25-year-old Marine, was scheduled to leave Battle Creek on Monday for North Carolina before his first deployment to Afghanistan.

“I know that (Throckmorton) wouldn’t want anyone to be upset,” Hegner said. “I didn’t know him personally, but being in the armed forces, it’s safe to say that he would say he was just doing his job and had to make the ultimate sacrifice.”