Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cpl William Joshua Rechenmacher, Walk with God


When I opened my mail from a favorite soldier, I never expected the letter of sorrow that I received. We've been corresponding for over three years - through one deployment and, now a second. Always up. Always positive. But, this letter was in memory of her friend, Josh, who lost his life in Iraq. It ended with, "He was my friend. I will never forget him. Remember, Josh." I will remember him. And, I hope you will, too.


Cpl William Joshua Rechenmacher
1/7/1983 - 1/18/2007
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
1sr Brigade Special Troops Battalion
1st Cavalry Division
Fort Hood, Texas


Josh died doing what he loved to do - being a soldier. He was in Iraq on his second tour - one he volunteered for. While patrolling the streets of Baghdad, his HMMWV hit an IED.

Josh was from Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Forest High School, participated in JROTC and joined the Army at age 17. His family says he wanted to serve his country since he was a toddler. And, serve he did, for seven years and two deployments to Iraq. And, he loved being a Soldier.

"When he was little, he loved Top Gun. We went through three Top Gun tapes because he would constantly play it over and over. He would sit there and get his dad's motorcycle helmet and a plunger and pretend he was flying the plane," his mother said.

His father says his son “knew the risks. He didn't have to be in this unit. He wanted to be in this unit. He prided himself very much and we're proud of him."

They know that he died doing what he loved, fighting for a cause he believed in and because of that, they feel exactly as he did. "He told us 95% of the people appreciate us being there and he couldn't wait to go back to help them. Do we need to be there? My son died because of that. Yes we do."

Josh was accompanied home by his best friend and fellow soldier. A memorial service was held in Jacksonville. His burial took place in Arlington Cemetery.



I will remember Josh. I will remember the sorrow and the love and the pride in the letter I received from one of his friends. I am grateful to Josh for doing what he believed in, for serving our country, for helping a people gain their freedom. His family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. Walk with God, Josh.

The Arlington Page
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wjrechenmacher.htm

News and Video of Josh's Mother
http://www.news4jax.com/news/10807636/detail.html

News Report
http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/012407/met_7526754.shtml

16 comments:

De'on Miller said...

Oh, this was good to read. Top Gun was Aaron's favorite too.

I hate those IEDs and bombs.

Thank you, Cpl Rechenmacher, and family, God walk with you too.

Thank you all. And to you FG, for being there for this soldier's friend.

chrys said...

Wonderful post and so personal. Makes us feel as though we were lucky enough to know Joshua personally. Glad your soldier shared this with you and you, in turn, with us. Thanks.

daniel said...

The more I read of the great people of the United States military, oh how much better are we than them!

FTGF!

Jenn of the Jungle said...

Very moving tribute.

Mike's America said...

It's so sad to think about this friend, someone's son or brother now gone.

But I'm glad you honored him and his service and sacrifice for our freedom.

I'm glad all these fine men and women are remembered and honored as they should be.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

This is a wonderful tribute.

God bless Cpl Rechenmacher. May he rest in peace.

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you all, for helping me to remember Josh.

MARIA said...

I KNEW JOSH SINCE HIGH SCHOOL AND HE WAS ALWAYS THE SWEETEST PERSON TO ME. HE WAS AN ELEMENT LEADER ON MY TEAM AT SANDALWOOD HIS FRESHMAN YEAR AND HE WAS ONE OF THE MOST DEDICATED FRESHMAN I HAVE EVER MET. HE CAME AND SAW ME AT MY WORK BEFORE HE LEFT FOR HIS SECOND TOUR AND I TOLD HIM THAT I WAS PROUD OF HIM AND TO BE CAREFUL OUT THERE. HE DIED DOING WHAT HE LOVED AND ALL WE CAN DO IS THANK HIM FOR HIS HONOR AND COURAGE. REST IN PEACE, JOSH. MAY GOD TAKE YOU UPON HIS WINGS IN HEAVEN.

Flag Gazer said...

Maria-
My condolences on the loss of your friend. He influenced so many people in such a positive way.

Rich said...

I miss you Rech

Drem said...

Thank you very much for creating this living Memorial of Josh.

As a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, I was there when Josh returned home to Jacksonville. While hard to describe my feelings as he was escorted from NAS Jacksonville to the Funeral home. My eyes were filled with tears as we slowly rolled through the streets. Member of the US Navy at attention and saluting. People standing on the curb with their hands over there hearts. Older gentleman getting out of their cars, at attention hands over their heart.
Then later my approaching Josh's family to offer my condolences. And then finding out that many years ago I met Josh and his Mother Jo when he was just 15. While I am a Veteran, the war hit home for me, the casualties were now personal.
Josh, while I did not know you while you were becoming a young man, a Father, a Warrior. I thank you for your service to our Country. You will never be forgotten.

Ralph Terreault
Patriot Guard Riders
Riding in HONOR of Cpl. William "Josh" Rechenmacher

guardian angles mom said...

I want to thank you from the bottom of my broken heart for this wonderful tribute to my son. I am Joanne Gutcher I am Joshua's mom. I am very proud of my son and what he did for our country/freedom. And I want to thank everyone that knew my son for having such wonderful memories of Josh and for sharing them with me. Anyone that wants to share any of thier memories with can email me at sweetjo613@aol.com.
Again Thank YOu,
Joanne

CJ said...

I've spoken with Josh's mother, sister and fiance and will publishing his story and photos on They Have Names soon (www.theyhavenames.com). Thank for making me aware of him.

CJ said...

Josh's story is up at They Have Names.

Sara said...

Seeing how many lives my brother touched and how many people love him has been overwhelming. He was the best brother anyone could have asked for. Losing him has been the hardest thing i have ever done. Thank you, everyone, for you love and support. Rest in Peace Bubba. I will always miss you. And you will forever be my hero, as always.

Sara

Flag Gazer said...

Sara - thank you for sharing - Josh is a hero to so many people you may never know, but know that he is thought of and loved always.