Added by: Rosie
Marine Cpl. Joshua J. Ware, 20, of Apache, Oklahoma
Ware died November 16, 2005 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi, Iraq as a result of enemy small arms fire.
He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Today’s powwow at Apache High School will be far more solemn than originally planned.
As Mariah Carey’s “Hero” plays on the sound system, girls from the Native American Club will sign the lyrics in traditional sign language. Then a Pendleton blanket will be carried through the room, never touching the floor, and donations for a grieving family will be placed on it.
The song, the signing, the money, the ritual – none of it was supposed to happen. But as news of a tragedy raced through the community Wednesday, the lighthearted powwow, which had been planned for weeks, took a more serious turn.
Marine Cpl. Joshua J. “Josh” Ware, 21, who attended the school until his senior year, perished Wednesday in an ambush in Iraq.
A hometown hero had fallen.
By all accounts, Ware couldn’t have been much prouder of his country or his Corps.
A spokesman for Ware’s family said Ware graduated from Roland High School in May 2003, then enlisted in the Marines on May 27 – just two days after his birthday.
In March 2004, he was stationed in Iraq as a member of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Serving in the infantry, Ware fought in the second battle of Fallujah.
‘It will probably go down in Marine Corps history as one of their biggest battles ever, maybe even the biggest in Iraq,’ said family friend Lenny Asepermy, who served in Vietnam. ‘He was a grunt, an infantryman, so you know he was in the thick of things.’
Ware returned home in October 2004, then went on a training trip in July, Asepermy said. Ware went back to Iraq last month as a member of Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division (Marine Expeditionary Force), stationed at Camp Fallujah.
Wednesday, Ware and others had just entered a farmhouse when an explosion went off, Asepermy said. At least one Marine was injured or killed, and when others tried to recover him, rebels inside the house attacked with guns and grenades.
Several Marines and rebels were killed, Asepermy said, citing a conversation he and Ware’s mother had with military officials Thursday.
About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Ware’s family learned the terrible news.
The tragedy struck a family already reeling from a recent family emergency. Last week, friends said, Ware’s stepfather suffered a stroke, and Ware’s mother, Alicia Momaday, was left with the dual responsibilities of visiting her husband at a Lawton hospital and tending to three school-age children.
‘The family’s really, really having a hard time,’ said Donna Watts, who leads the Native American Club, which counted Ware among its members a few years ago. ‘The mom has been going back and forth, and then this happened yesterday. The family is just devastated.’
Ware’s sister, Randi Momaday, 16, was notified of her brother’s death by her basketball coach during practice.
‘Naturally, she’s having a hard time with it,’ Watts said.
His brothers, Dustin Ware, 23, Sky Momaday, 13, and Daniel Momaday, 6, also are stunned by Ware’s death, Asepermy said.
“The mother is just beside herself,” he said.
Karen Rodenberg, Apache principal, said counselors and teachers are trying to ease the loss for all the students, especially those who knew Ware or went to school with his siblings.
‘You hear about the war every day,’ Rodenberg said, ‘and you hear about the soldiers, but it doesn’t really affect you until it happens to someone in your community.’
That’s why the powwow plans were changed.
‘There will be some honor there for that boy,’ Rodenberg promised. ‘It will be a positive thing'”
The life of a 2003 Roland High School graduate was cut short at the age of 20 when he was killed during combat operations in Iraq Wednesday.
The former Roland man, Cpl. Joshua J. Ware of Apache, was one of four Marines who died while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi, Iraq, according to a release issued Thursday on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Web site.
Ware was one of two Oklahoma men who died. Cpl. Jeffry A. Rogers, 21, of Oklahoma City was also killed.
The men died as a result of enemy small arms fire. All four Marines were assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Ware is the second Roland graduate to be killed since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Spc. Lyle Rymer, 24, with the Arkansas Army National Guard was killed by an enemy sniper in Baghdad, Iraq, in February. Rymer was a 1999 Roland graduate.
Assistant School Superintendent Larry Henson remembers Ware was the kind of person who would always get things done. Henson was head high school football coach when Ware was in school at Roland. Ware played defensive secondary and receiver on the football team.
Henson said Ware mentioned that he was interested in the armed forces after he graduated, but he didn’t specify the Marines.
‘He was a quiet, but very confident individual,’ Henson said. ‘He would get things done'”
While Henson said Ware was reserved and quiet, Ware had a good personality, which drew his teammates to him.
‘The kids liked being around him,’ he said. ‘He was a very likeable young man….He’s just a fine individual.’
His decorations, medals, badges, citations, and campaign ribbons include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze service stars; the Purple Heart Medal; and the Combat Action Ribbon with one gold service star. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement and Commendation Medals are pending approval by the Department of the Navy.
***CORRECTION provided by: Rita Collvins Mayfield
Hi, Your memorial for Corp Joshua Ware, a soldier killed in Iraq is in the wrong cemetery. There is no Rainy Mountain Cemetery in Mount View Comanche County. The correct cemetery is Rainy Mountain Church Cemetery, Mountain View, Kiowa County, Oklahoma. I was there this afternoon and took a photograph of his stone and will post it after you correct the burial information. You can click on the edit button just above the cemetery name and simply take out the incorrect cemetery and add in the correct cemetery. You must be specific and be sure to add in the church, because there is another Rainy Mountain Cemetery.
Rita Collvins Mayfield
***A heartfelt thanks to grainne for paying tribute to this fine serviceman on the anniversary of his birth by sponsoring his memorial. May your kindness be returned to you a hundredfold and may God hold you in the hallow of His hand.
**Special thanks to Rita Collvins Mayfield for paying tribute to this young American hero by photographing his memorial marker.
Rainy Mountain Church Cemetery
Source: Find A Grave
Created by: Rosie
Record added: Nov 27, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12523099