View Full Version : U.S. Joshua M Bernard, Afghanistan

09-06-2009, 01:00 PM
Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, of New Portland, Maine, was home-schooled from kindergarten to 12th grade by his mother, receiving his high school diploma from North Atlantic Regional High School. He was an active member of the teen youth group at his church, Crossroads Bible Church in Madison, and enjoyed gaming, hiking, snowboarding, shooting, was an avid reader and a big movie buff. Joshua enjoyed having fun, and although he was shy, he took great pride in helping other people. A deeply religious young man, who felt that it was his duty to not only serve God, but his country, he was focused on his goals in life. Following in the footsteps of his father, Joshua joined the Marines in November 2006 and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, in May of 2007. Joshua’s role in the Marines was a rifleman. He deployed to Iraq with the 2/3 in January 2008, and deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2009 with the same unit. He died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. His awards include the Purple Heart Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Joshua lived his life as a great example for Christ, earning the nickname “Holy Man” from his fellow soldiers. He saw his role as a Marine as a protector of his country, not a warrior. A diligent soldier, with no ulterior motive other than to serve. His natural humbleness would have shunned the publicity over his death, he served for us, not himself. Joshua was buried in East New Portland Cemetery in New Portland, Maine.

A Marine and son of a Marine, a devout Christian, Iraq war veteran and avid hiker, home-schooled in rural Maine, Bernard

Joshua, they said, loved literature and showed early interest in the Bible and Christianity. "He had a very strong faith right from the beginning," his mother said.

His father described him as "humble, shy, unassuming – the very first to offer help." He didn't smoke or drink, and always opened the door for others. His main friends were his church group, whom he would visit when on leave, and his sister Katy, 20.

Bernard's father is a retired Marine 1st sergeant. Three weeks before the Aug. 14 ambush that killed his son, he had written to his congressman, Rep. Michael Michaud, expressing frustration at what he described as a change in the Afghanistan rules of engagement to one of "spare the civilians at all cost." He called this "disgraceful, immoral and fatal" to U.S. forces in combat.

Joshua loved video games and snowboarding, and hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail with his father. He hoped to become a U.S. marshal.

"Service and personal honor," is how his father summarized his son.
Three days after Bernard's death, as his belongings were being packed for shipment to his family, Cpl. Joshua Jackson, his squad leader, was still referring to him in the present tense.

"He definitely doesn't hesitate," said Jackson, 23, from Copley, Ohio. "He's very good, he definitely has the nerves to do what he's needed to do."

He called Bernard "a true-heartedly very good guy ... probably one of the best guys I've known in my entire life."

The hardest part is "just wondering if there's something that I could have done different, or maybe prevented him from dying," Jackson said. "But that's something we've all got to deal with."

"I think it's got to do with being a Marine; you just carry on," said Godby. That night he got two hours of sleep. Before dawn, his platoon took part in a raid on a suspected Taliban stronghold.

Bernard was determined, his comrades said. That's why he was chosen as the squad's point man and navigator, moving at the front of his unit.

Lance Cpl. Jason Pignon, 22, from Thayer, Ill., was his close friend. They had been in the same platoon since 2007 when they joined "the Fleet," as Marines call the units preparing to deploy. They served together near Fallujah in Iraq in 2008, and again in Afghanistan.

09-06-2009, 01:45 PM
Thanks for sharing, Bob.

Rest in peace.

09-10-2009, 02:20 AM
RIP brother.

Thanks for the updated info Bob

09-10-2009, 05:09 AM
RIP Josh.

09-10-2009, 05:11 AM
RIP Josh

09-10-2009, 01:16 PM
The Family as well as the Country lost a great young man first and foremost, the Corps lost a great warrior as well . It's a real shame we never here the good stuff about any of our troops until most are gone.