Deese, Joshua, 1LT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11A-Infantry Officer
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
2005-2006, 11A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry
Service Years
2003 - 2006
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom


First Lieutenant

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CPL Michael Peck (DO WORK 3-A) to remember Deese, Joshua, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Rowland, North Carolina

Casualty Date
Oct 15, 2006
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Other Explosive Device
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
  2004-2005, 11A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry
  2004-2006, 11A, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
  2005-2006, 11A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2003-2004 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)/Camp Warrior Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq
 Colleges Attended 
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  2000-2004, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Sgt. Jonathan Lootens  had been a troubled youth. Though he had frequently walked on the wrong side of the law, he found purpose and direction in the Army, wanted to go to college and loved reading.

First Lt. Joshua Deese  , 25, was a "true Southern gentleman," wanted to make the Army a career and had a young son with his high school sweetheart in North Carolina.

The two soldiers had already survived a deployment to Afghanistan. But neither could survive a roadside bomb explosion that ripped through their vehicle Sunday in Iraq.

"Just a difficult time; just taking it one minute at a time," Rogena Deese, Joshua's mother, said yesterday from Rowland, N.C.

The two Schofield Barracks soldiers were killed in Kirkuk in northern Iraq during combat operations, the Pentagon said yesterday. They were with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment.


"Just a difficult time; just taking it one minute at a time," Rogena Deese, Joshua's mother, said yesterday from Rowland, N.C.

The two Schofield Barracks soldiers were killed in Kirkuk in northern Iraq during combat operations, the Pentagon said yesterday. They were with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment.

Lootens, 25, from Lyons, N.Y., and Deese are the sixth and seventh Hawai'i-based soldiers to be killed during a yearlong deployment to Iraq by more than 7,000 Schofield soldiers that began about two months ago.

At least 58 Americans have been killed in Iraq in the first two weeks of October, a pace that if continued would make the month the worst for coalition forces since January 2005 when 107 U.S. soldiers and Marines died.

The spike in casualties has paralleled an upward spiral in ethnic violence. Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, last week said "the levels of violence over the last few weeks are as high as they have been."

Casey also said that violence and progress coexist in Iraq, and that 90 percent of the violence takes place in five provinces that account for a little less than half the country's population.

Family of both slain soldiers yesterday said the men believed in what they were doing in Iraq, a war that continues to become increasingly unpopular back home.

"Iraq was more difficult than Afghanistan for Jon personally," said Lootens' sister, Andrea Ralyea, 26. "But there were just different challenges that they were facing there. He felt that what they are doing is right — that we have to help people around the world find freedom and find their way, and Jon was helping to do that."

Rogena Deese said that her son also was proud of what he was doing.

"He believed that there had to be sacrifices made for America's freedom," she said, adding that he was discouraged at how the media had represented the soldiers in the war.

"All of the soldiers want to be represented as trying to do something honorable — trying to protect the freedom of America," Rogena Deese said.

Deese was commissioned in August 2003 after graduating from Pembroke State University. He came to Schofield Barracks in August 2004. His uncle was his Junior ROTC instructor in high school.

"He just really got into it. He followed in his (uncle's) footsteps," Rogena Deese said. Her son wanted to make the Army a career. She described him as outgoing, "a true southern gentleman, real well-mannered. Just an ideal son."

He was his company's executive officer.

"He wanted to be there for his men, take care of them, make sure things were done right for them," his mother said. Joshua Deese was planning on marrying his high school sweetheart after the deployment and captain's school. The couple has a 2-year-old son.

"Josh, myself and most of my family are real strong believers in having eternal hope in Jesus ... and I know that I'll see him one day, and that's how I'm getting through this," Rogena Deese said.

Andrea Ralyea said her brother was looking for some direction in life and joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"I think it's important for everyone to know how much the Army changed Jon's life — that he saw the Army as a springboard to other opportunities," she said.

He loved the outdoors — fishing was a passion — and was fixing up a 1964 Ford. He was looking forward to going to college.

"He thought for a while that he might want to go into law enforcement or do things to help kids," his sister said. He was reading George Orwell's "1984," and had asked the family to send him some of the "classics."

Her brother was expected to come home on rest and recuperation leave next month, and the family was adjusting their schedules to be with him.

Jon didn't tell his family where he was in Iraq, his sister said. He did say it was harder than being in Afghanistan.

"Because of what Jon was and wasn't allowed to tell us, he never really got into (why)," she said.

Two other soldiers were hurt in the roadside bomb blast in Kirkuk, which is where the headquarters is located for Schofield's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

The multiethnic city of about 1 million, in a region that has an estimated 6 percent of the world's oil reserves, has seen an increase in violence in recent months as part of a power struggle between Kurds, who claim the region as part of their autonomous zone of Kurdistan, and Arabs.

Car bombings increased from three in August to 16 in September, and authorities in Kirkuk and Mosul have found dumped bodies showing signs of torture. Officials went so far as to dig a 10-mile trench around the southern and western sectors of the city to try to prevent car bombers from entering.

The previous five Schofield Barracks soldiers killed on this latest deployment died as a result of combat in and around the Sunni Arab hotspot of Hawija, about 30 miles southwest of Kirkuk.

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