|Birth: ||Mar. 10, 1984|
Los Angeles County
|Death: ||May 15, 2007, Afghanistan|
SSG Joshua R. Whitaker, Global War on Terrorism Veteran, Native of Long Beach, California.
Staff Sergeant Joshua Robert Whitaker was a casualty of the Global War on Freeedom. As a member of the US Army, SSG Whitaker served our country until March 15, 2007 in Qalat, Afghanistan. He was 23 years old and was not married. It was reported that Whitaker died from small arms fire. His body was recovered. Whitaker was born on November 29th, 1984 in Long Beach, California. He served our country for almost 4 years.
He was a native of Long Beach, California where he attended Millikan High School, and was a linebacker for the High School football team, but finished his education at Opportunities for Learning, an alternative high school.
Joshua enlisted in the US Army in 2003, and completed basic training at Ft Benning, Ga. He earned the Green Beret in 2006, and was also trained in advanced urban combat. He was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2006. He died in Qalat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire at age 23.
"We were worried, but we knew there was no stopping him," said his uncle, Robb Whitaker. "He was very, very happy. He felt he finally found his calling. He had always talked about joining the Armed Forces." In March, the 23 year old engineer Sergeant was deployed to Afghanistan, his first mission since completing his Special Forces training. On Tuesday, Whitaker died in action near Qalat, Afghanistan, from wounds he suffered in a firefight. He was a staff sergeant assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group from Fort Bragg, N.C.
An only child, Whitaker was raised by his mother, Catherine Whitaker, and his uncle. "He was looking forward to making a difference in the world. He'll always be a hero to me," his uncle said. On Friday, flags at the State Capitol were flown at half-staff in his honor. "Staff Sergeant Whitaker willingly put his life on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice while bravely serving our country abroad," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. Whitaker was the second Long Beach soldier killed this month.
He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in March, 2007. Joshua enlisted in the Army Sept. 24, 2003 as a Special Forces candidate. After completing basic combat training, advanced individual training and airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. for Special Forces training. Upon completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2006, he earned the coveted Green Beret and was assigned to 7th Special Forces Group(A).
He is also survived by his fiancee, Star, his uncle, Robb Whitaker of Signal Hill, Calif. and his father, Frank Dougherty of El Monte, Calif. His aunt, Debra Whitaker and his cousins Rachel and Laura Whitaker, all from Signal Hill, Calif., also survive him.
His Awards and Decorations include The Good Conduct Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, The Army Service Ribbon, The Parachutist Badge and The Special Forces Tab. He had decided early on that he wanted to be part of the US Army's most prestigious unit, the Elite Special Forces unit known as the Green Berets.
Los Angeles County
Created by: Tom Reece
Record added: Jul 17, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20493013