Fallen soldier remembered - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fallen soldier remembered

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - At eight-years-old, the Powells knew they were raising a little soldier.

"He used to go and watch westerns with my mother; he would come home and say, 'Daddy, we're going to move to Montana and join up with John Wayne and hunt buffalo. So we pretty much new what his career in life was going to be," says Ray Phillips, Joshua's father.

Sergeant Joshua was on his fifth tour of duty when a roadside bomb attack took his life

"I knew that's what he wanted out of life and that's what he did, he did what he loved. He was very happy," Ray says.  

"He was one-hundred percent army from his head to his toes" Joshua's mother says.

The American Legion Post in Mineola presented Joshua's parents with the Gold Star Banner. Their banner has one blue star in the middle,which represents Joshua's service. A gold star was placed on top of the blue star to represent that he was killed in action.

Among those gifts, was one given to them by a mother who lost her son in Afghanistan as well.

Marine Corps Sergeant Kenneth May Junior of Kilgore had died not long before Joshua at just 26-years-old.

Karen May says she was at her son's viewing when a woman approached her saying, "My son, my son, my son" and immediately May knew this woman had lost her son just like she had lost hers.

"She gave me a little angel holding a folded flag and when I got home and looked at it I realized that if she can go on without her son then I can too," May says.  

A gift she hopes will give the Powell family the same hope it gave her.

"Having lost someone in the military...it's different. Our national anthem, you don't hear that the same, you don't see a flag the same...it just changes. So, to have another person who knows exactly how you feel kind of helps you not feel so different," May says.

An emotional evening of remembrance and thanks to those who risk their lives for our country.

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