21 years old from Irving, Texas
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
October 14, 2004
Louise Vandertulip fussed at her son about his spending. He bought wild, overpriced hats that had flames on them or horns coming out of the top, she said.
While in Army basic training, he bought portraits of himself. His mother told him to save his money.
She's glad he didn't listen.
The hats and the pictures are all a part of her memories now.
Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip was killed in Baghdad when his patrol came under small arms fire.
Josiah Vandertulip joined the Army right after his graduation from Irving High School in 2002. He spent a year in South Korea before being stationed at Texas' Fort Hood in February. Against his mother's advice, he volunteered to go to Iraq. She told him to wait, to go to college.
"When he was determined to do something in his heart, he would do it and hell or high water couldn't keep him from it," she said
By going, he knew someone else with a young family could be saved from serving, relatives said.
He always had the important things right, Louise Vandertulip said.
"There's a lot of rest in knowing that he died doing what he believed in and doing what he thought was right," she said.
"We have a much more real sense of the cost for the freedom that we enjoy now," said his father, Robert Vandertulip.
"Josiah was the first brand new soldiers I recieved as a dismounted team leader in Korea. He was one of the Best soldiers I have had the honor to train and work with. He loved being a soldier as much as any guy I have met. He was a great leader in the absence of his superiors. I could always count on him to make sure the mission was accomplished. I watched him change over the year I had him from a goofy kid, to a hard charging soldier."
Sgt. Nickolas Faul
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.